x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Slipping and sliding

As it rains, it is natural to gaze in wonder. But if you are driving anywhere this weekend, exercise caution.

Everyone is talking about the weather – and with good reason. Rain showers and storms have swept across the country in the past few days, rendering some roads impassable, closing schools and making the business of going about our lives that little bit more challenging.

As The National’s columnist Rym Ghazal pointed out yesterday, the people of this region are fascinated by rain. Many love the smell of it, others take the cleansing relief of a good rainshower as a blessing. Indeed, the sheer novelty of it in a country blessed by year-round sunshine, make yesterday’s rains in the UAE an object of great fascination. More is likely to follow today.

Unfortunately, it is also an object of danger. Every year, the police repeat the same warning: “For your safety take caution when driving in the rain.” Drivers are often unaccustomed to the impact that wet roads have on the stopping distance of a car. Motorbikes are especially at risk of slipping, while those rushing along the highways of the UAE would be advised to stay far away from the vehicle in front.

Faced with unusual weather, it is natural to gaze in wonder. But please, if you are driving anywhere this weekend, exercise caution.