What is the speed of the heat

Prepare for the weather - by car & motorcycle

Direct (trivial) and biotropic weather influences do not necessarily lead to accidents. Rather, it is always the person who - be it at the steering wheel of a car or on a motorcycle - adjusts to the weather more or less well. Even if it sounds banal: With good personal preparation, adapted speed, greater distance and increased attention, even adverse weather conditions can be mastered. In addition, there is appropriate preparation of the vehicle as well as thorough maintenance and control of its operational and road safety. Important points on the checklist include, for example, the tire profile and tire pressure, the functionality and cleanliness of the lighting equipment, the condition of the windscreen wiper blades and checking the level of the windscreen washer system (with frost protection in winter). In addition, there is the function of the air conditioning and ventilation system. The windows should also be cleaned inside and out on a regular basis. In addition, a reasonable time management protects against hectic and stress.

At great heat a vehicle with a well-functioning air conditioning system is the first choice. However, this should not be set too cool, as attention is also impaired by too low temperatures and the body is unnecessarily stressed by the heat production. We recommend 21-23 degrees Celsius. At extremely high outside temperatures, however, a slightly higher setting can be useful so that the temperature difference between outside and inside does not become too great. The air vents should not be aimed directly at the body to avoid drafts and dry eyes. If possible, the vehicle should be parked in the shade. If that is not possible, it helps to cover the dashboard and steering wheel with light-colored cloth.

Before driving off, you open doors and windows so that the heated air can escape from the vehicle. Otherwise, the air conditioning works best with the windows closed. Because of the impairment of concentration and the noise of the ventilation, you should pay particular attention to the traffic environment and drive cautiously. In this weather situation you have to expect that others will be impatient or make mistakes because of the heat.

At rain visibility is impaired and braking distances are longer on wet roads. Additional dangers arise from spray that is blown up, e.g. by trucks, as well as from reflections that can arise from solar radiation. The driving speed must be adapted to the visibility and road conditions. The grip of the wet road is difficult to assess. While a clean concrete or asphalt roadway can still have 80 percent of its grip even when wet, the "grip" is significantly reduced, for example if there is tire abrasion or the build-up of oil or pollen. Especially after long periods of good weather and subsequent heavy rainfall, grip is severely restricted until the greasy layer has been washed off the roadway.

If there is a continuous film of water on the road, there is a risk of aquaplaning: the tires float on the water, which is accompanied by a complete loss of power transmission between the tires and the road. Lowering the speed is therefore absolutely advisable when there is a large amount of water on the road. Tires with a good profile are important (at least 3 mm, better more), if there are ruts you should drive offset to the grooves in wet conditions. If aquaplaning occurs, you should also disengage vehicles with ESP, as the power transmission between the tires and the road surface is completely interrupted. You hold the steering wheel straight and wait until contact with the road resumes.

Cross wind often occurs in forest aisles and on bridges, also when overtaking trucks, when driving in and out of underpasses and at the end of noise barriers. The faster you are on the road, the more the car will be shifted sideways when it is hit by a gust. Tests have shown that a vehicle that is traveling at 100 km / h with a lateral wind speed of 72 km / h (this corresponds to wind force 8) is offset by one meter to the side. If the vehicle is traveling at 140 km / h, it drifts by four meters at the same wind speed. Lowering the driving speed is therefore the most important means against cross winds. You should also hold the steering wheel with both hands so that you can react quickly if necessary.

fog is caused by condensation of moisture that comes into contact with cold layers of air. Fog affects visibility, so that the course of the road, other vehicles or pedestrians can only be seen late. Fog also leads to perceptual illusions: Objects and other vehicles seem further away than they actually are. When there is fog, you have to keep a greater distance from the vehicle in front, especially since the road is often wet. Lights and, if necessary, fog lights must be switched on in good time. The windshield wiper helps remove the precipitate on the windshield. If the windshield has also been cleaned from the inside, there are fewer annoying light reflections. Under certain circumstances it can make sense to switch off the radio so that the sense of hearing can also be fully focused on the traffic. If visibility is poor: visibility in meters = maximum speed. If the visibility drops to 50 m, for example, you may only drive at a maximum of 50 km / h. The rear fog light may only be switched on when visibility is less than 50 m. If the view becomes better, it must be switched off again so that those who follow are not dazzled.

snow significantly affects the contact between the road and the tire. Although ABS prevents the wheels from locking even on a blanket of snow, the braking distance can be considerably longer. If the coefficient of friction on a snow-covered road is 0.2 μ, approx. 80 percent of the original grip is lost. Braking distances increase four times or more under such conditions.

This must be taken into account when choosing the speed. Depending on the situation, the vehicle can oversteer, understeer or break away despite ESP. The legislature currently (June 2017) requires the use of tires with M + S marking in winter road conditions. However, this is not always proof of a tire's suitability for winter use. Therefore, attention should also be paid to the “snowflake symbol” on the tire labeling. If the mileage is sufficient, winter tires must be changed in good time. The profile should be at least 4 mm, preferably more.

At ice The car can suddenly become uncontrollable on the road. The speed must be reduced significantly in such road conditions. If possible, you should always accelerate and brake gently. Hustle and bustle and impatience do not help, they tend to make the situation worse. Under certain circumstances it can make sense to leave the car behind and - if possible - to use public transport.

On the motorcycle it should be remembered that accidents involving motorbikes occur more frequently in good weather. Anyone who savored the driving dynamics of the motorized two-wheeler can easily be tempted to disregard the necessary caution. When driving a motorcycle, it is therefore essential that you adapt your speed and drive with vision. In confusing situations, overtaking must never be done. Single-track vehicles are easily overlooked due to their narrow silhouette. This often happens when the sun is low, which is behind the motorcycle rider. But bad weather also has its pitfalls for drivers of single-lane vehicles: a wet roadway places tight limits on the possible lean angle. Braking maneuvers are also more difficult in wet conditions, as you have to assess the grip of the road very precisely in order to achieve the shortest possible braking distance. ABS on the vehicle significantly reduces the risk of falling when braking and is strongly recommended for motorcycles.

By the way, aquaplaning can also occur with motorcycles, but mostly only at higher speeds than with cars. Caution is therefore advised, especially on the motorway, when a thick film of water covers the roadway and possibly collects in ruts. A waterproof suit or rainwear that you also carry with you will help you stay dry and therefore fit and ready to react even in the event of a downpour.

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