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Still from an archive video of a flooded wadi in Fujairah, posted on social media channel of the National Centre for Meteorology. Image used for illustrative purpose only. Image Credit: Screengrab/X

Abu Dhabi: During the recent rains in the UAE, several emergencies and cases of stunt driving were reported. Despite repeated warnings to steer clear of wadis (valleys) prone to flash floods during downpours, some motorists continue to risk their lives by seeking out thrills in mountainous areas.

Brigadier General Mahmoud Yousef Al Balushi

In an exclusive statement to Gulf News, Brigadier General Mahmoud Yousef Al Balushi, Director of the Traffic and Patrols Directorate at The General Command of Abu Dhabi Police, issued a fresh warning against reckless driving in wet conditions and urged motorists to follow all traffic rules and police advisories, especially during unstable weather.

Any area where water accumulates during rain should be a no-go zone for drivers, he said. Still, some motorists insist on crossing streams of gushing water that develop suddenly in wadis after rains, as water cascades down the bare rocky slopes. Such reckless behaviour to experience adventure has proved fatal on numerous occasions and caused serious injuries, Brig Gen Al Balushi said.

"We have lost lives. This behaviour exposes families and children to tragic accidents,” he added. He called for full adherence to traffic laws and urged motorists not to endanger their lives and the lives of others.

Safety tips

The director pointed out that driving in rainy conditions requires following specific measures to enhance road safety, such as:

• keeping the car windshield clear by using the wipers continuously

• turning on headlights to improve visibility

• replacing old tires with new ones to prevent slipping

• holding the steering wheel with both hands to be able to control the car

Al Balushi also stressed the importance of:

• maintaining a safe distance from other vehicles

• not pressing the brakes suddenly and at high speed, and slowing down when cornering to prevent the car from slipping to the side of the road

• driving at a very low speed in residential areas