Wet leaves!

Hello everybody. This is the time of year when train travellers get frustrated by delays on the networks caused by wet leaves. Every year the leaves fall from the trees and every year it’s as if it’s a surprise to the railway bosses. Road users face problems too.

Driving in Sevenoaks you will now be coming across these same leaves. They are extremely slippery and seem to gather in the most awkward places. Apart from gathering at the side of the road they also like to do sneaky stuff like laying right across the road at a junction. This is particularly true when driving on the lanes in villages such as Ightham, Kemsing, Otford, Shoreham etc. Be extra cautious approaching a T-junction where there are leaves about.

Stopping quickly on wet leaves simply does not happen; it’s like stopping on ice. Apart from realising the effects it has on your ability to stop safely, it is vital that you consider how difficult it is for others. It’s hard enough for those with 4 wheels but for those with 2 wheels it can very dangerous indeed. So, please be sure to be aware of the changing road surfaces and give the 2-wheelers a bit of extra room.

Autumn leaves on the trees are absolutely stunning but when they fall they are treacherous so take care out there.


Autumn has arrived

Well, it’s the 1st October and Autumn seems to have arrived. Last week’s deluges of rain were tricky to deal with but here is some advice as we approach changing weather patterns.

Always check that your light lenses are clean allowing your lights to be seen clearly.
Regularly check that your lights are all working.
Allow time to demist your windows thoroughly before you start your journey.
Be aware that others may not have demisted sufficiently and may have limited vision.
Keep your washer bottle topped up. Spray from wet roads is dirty and you will use more water at this time of year.
Stopping distances double in wet weather so keep extra space between yourself and the vehicle in front.
Be prepared to slow down if your visibility is impaired.
Test your brakes (when it is safe to do so) after driving through a flooded road.
Remember that motorbike riders don’t have washers and wipers!
Look out for debris on the road particularly after windy weather.
Avoid braking harshly on wet leaves; it’s like braking on ice.
Pedestrians will be harder to see in poor weather owing to poor light and often because they are wearing dark, winter clothes.
The low sun at this time of year can be particularly awkward. It always seems to shine straight in your face leaving visors fairly ineffective. When the sun shines strongly on wet roads, the line markings can all but disappear; hard for you and even harder for motorcyclists.

Actually this list is almost endless. The bottom line is that driving at this time of year can be particularly dangerous so we must take even greater care of ourselves and others on the road.

Winter Driving

I know it’s only half way through September but  before we know it, winter will be upon us. For anyone who passed their practical driving test this year, the likely weather conditions (based on the last couple of years) are going to be a whole new experience.

At the moment, the changes to the weather are subtle. I have noticed the mornings in Borough Green are a little colder. If you have an early start and your car lives outside, you will probably have condensation on the windows and plastic light lenses. Make sure to leave time for these to clear using your de-mister and a cloth to wipe the light lenses before you set off.

During driving lessons in Sevenoaks I have seen that leaves are beginning to fall. These can gather at the side of the road creating a hazard with regard to stopping efficiently and effectively.This can be especially true for motorbike riders who will most likely choose to steer around such a hazard. As drivers, we must be aware that the bikers may alter their course in front of us to avoid hazards such as wet leaves. Clever is the driver who anticipates this.

I shall make regular posts as the weather changes going into winter with tips on how to take precautions to stay safe which I hope will be of help especially to those who have only recently gained their full driving licence.