October 2008

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Driving During The Rainy Season In North Cyprus

North Cyprus doesn’t usually get a lot of rain, and during the rainy season the 402mm it does get can make driving hazard. Even though this number is lower than the Mediterranean average, caution is best used when driving. Roads in North Cyprus tend to be very dusty thanks to the lack of rain throughout most of the year. When it does rain, however, the roads get slippery when the dust mixes with the rain. Add to it the cooler weather, drivers in North Cyprus should be very careful driving during the rainy season, especially during the first rainfall.
For the most part, visitors to North Cyprus usually do not have to worry about rain unless they are in the country during the winter rainy season which can start as early as November and go through as late as February. Winters are cold with January and February being the coldest months, although the island is blessedly free from frost and snow unless you are visiting the Troodos Mountain range in the south(Customers who use Pacific Rental car hire in northern Cyprus are restricted to the area and may not take the car hire company’s vehicles beyond the demarcation line into South Cyprus despite news reports to the contrary).
When you are driving in North Cyprus, especially if you are from a country that is not used to driving on the left hand side of the road, you are going to want to be very careful driving in the rain. Most of the roads are well surfaced and comply with international traffic requirements, but the road surfacing, especially in cooler weather, can make the roads as dangerous as if they were covered with snow and ice found in other places. The roads that lead into the most remote places on the island, such as the minor roads around cities and up into the mountainous areas and forests are still mostly unpaved. While the residents attempt to keep them in good to fair condition, they can still be hazardous. During the rainy season, because the rain can be torrential for a brief time, the back roads can get extremely muddy very fast.
Always keep your speed at the post limit or lower to avoid hydroplaning on paved surfaces or possibly hitting a patch of black ice if the temperature is low enough. Make sure you use your windshield wipers at all times, and make sure you turn on your lights so other cars can visibly see you. If you must travel one of the unpaved side roads, try to do it in a four wheel drive. Avoid any standing water as it may be hiding deep and dangerous pot holes and to manage your way through any mud. Use common sense when driving and remain safe.

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