Reading Part Three Scanning for Detail
note the expressions, roadhog (a selfish and dangerous driver), roadmap (a political plan leading nowhere)
PART 3: Scanning for Detail: Bad Weather Driving
Choose the correct answer from the text. The answers may be in any order, and chosen more than once.
DRIVING IN BAD WEATHER
When should a driver.... ?
01. drive in the middle of the road
02. open a window
03. ask his passenger to sit in the back of the car
04. be most careful steering
05. avoid worn tyres
06. not drive on if there is another vehicle in front of him
07. wait for a larger vehicle to overtake him
08. definitely keep his headlights on
09. go as fast as the conditions will allow him
10. grip the wheel quite firmly
11. use his engine to help him break
12. stop to clean the car
When the Road is Wet
On wet roads, drivers should double the recommended distance between their car and the one in front, allowing two car lengths for every 10 mph. They should reduce their speed and steer with a gentle touch. However, they should at the same time grip the wheel firmly enough to resist the steering deflection that may occur when the front wheels, travelling at speed, hit a pool of water. These pools are often not easy to detect when the road surface is shiny with rain.
Modern tyres are designed to keep their grip on the road surface by squeezing water on the road out of their path, but at high speeds there is not always time for the water to escape. A car travelling at 60 mph on a quarter of an inch of water may lose practically all adhesion as the tyre aquaplanes along the road on a cushion of water. Worn tyres lose their grip at lower speeds on a thinner water film.
When the Road is Flooded
Drivers should not attempt to drive through a flooded stretch of road if there is a danger that the engine, especially the ignition system, will be under water. Drivers should get out and check on foot, or wait until a bus or lorry goes through the water and indicates the depth. If a crossing seems possible, take the crown of the road, and enter the water carefully to avoid a splash. Maintain a steady speed, not so fast that the water surges through the radiator grill, but fast enough to create a slight bow wave which will reduce the depth of water in front of the engine and help to keep the fan clear. Keep the engine revving hard to prevent water entering the exhaust pipe.
When the Road is Icy
When ice makes road adhesion minimal, drivers should brake, steer, accelerate and change gear with an extremely delicate touch. Most skids start when wheels lock or spin, and so drivers need to be careful with acceleration as well as braking. Double or even treble the distance from the vehicle in front, and use high gear to lessen the chances of wheel spin and skids. As much weight as possible should be kept directly over the wheels, and any passengers should sit in the back. If driving alone, weights such as bags of sand should be put on the back floor of front-engined cars, and in the front luggage compartment of rear-engined cars.
When the Road is Snow-Covered
To climb a hill in deep snow, gain as much speed as possible before the slope and avoid over-revving during the ascent, even if it means letting the engine over-work. If a gear change-down becomes essential, make it quickly to keep up forward movement. When you go down a snow-covered hill, use a lower gear to make use of engine-braking rather than the wheel brakes, which may lock and slide. If a slide does occur, release the brakes at once, steer a straight course, and then apply gentle braking by dabbing at the pedal. Try to avoid climbing a snow-bound hill if there is already a vehicle on it, because of the danger of collision if the other driver loses control.
In Falling Snow
When there is thick falling snow, drivers should use headlights and anything else which will help them to see and be seen. Drivers should stop occasionally to clean away the build-up of snow at the limits of the windscreen wipers' travel, and clear the back windows, wing mirrors and lights at the same time. It is a good idea to carry a plastic or rubber-bladed scraper in the car of this purpose. Keep the de-froster working and, if necessary, open a window to cut down interior misting. The road surface quickly becomes slippery as snow falls, so the driver should accelerate, steer and brake gently and allow extra braking distance.
©English Teaching Systems February 2005