A proper rainy season seems to have set in Bahrain. Which means wet and slippery highways, waterlogged roads and lanes, unexpected ‘lakes’ where one always saw nothing but sand or scrub. With this kind of unusual terrain under one’s wheels it is time to reconsider one’s driving habits.

DO NOT SPEED: Speed can be dangerous when it is raining – or has just stopped raining – when the roads would we wet and slippery, with wet sand and soil turned into mud results in a stretch no better than a surface where oil may have been spilt. You may not feel the consequences as you are speeding along but as soon as you apply brakes you will notice the vehicle is refusing to stop within the expected time and distance and may even swerve dangerously, sending it out of control. Imagine the consequences if are applying brakes to avoid jumping the red light! When it is raining or the roads are quite wet, 60kmph is the most you should try, the lower the better.

DO NOT TAKE SUDDEN AND FAST TURNS: In wet weather it is not only advisable to drive slowly but also to slow down more than you normally would when it is time to take a turn because a fast turn means you are unwittingly likely to ride on to the footpath with unforeseeable consequences in case there is any pedestrian round. It also means that despite your best efforts to apply brakes as you try to join the main road, your vehicle may run onto it and cause an accident.

HAVE MERCY ON PEDESTRIANS: As you drive through a waterlogged road close to a footpath, do not speed across splashing and giving the hapless pedestrians a free shower of muddy water. Courtesy demands that you slow down, use hazard lights to warn the eager beaver behind you [and thus compel him too to slow down] move as discreetly as possible so the pedestrians are not inconvenienced.

DO NOT SPEED ACROSS WATERLOGGED GROUNDS:

During rains, if a waterlogged road is deserted then do not try to cut across it in speed. Remember there could be an open manhole, bricks or stones, pieces of wood…anything obstructive which might cause your car to stay put if one of these objects gets stuck under your vehicle or if one of your wheels get jammed in a manhole. So move very very slowly, not more than 10kmph at best, so you have time to take corrective measures in case something untoward is about to happen.

And never cut across an empty stretch of ground lying under a sheet of water [unless you see someone ahead of you crossing it safely]. That could be more dangerous if the ground has been dug up and has a deep hole in some part of it – the part you might unknowingly might be trying to cross as a short cut.