DRIVING SAFETY UNDER THE RAIN
Traffic hazards and risks are elevated during the rain, and these include water-covered potholes that can lead to an incident. But, for many reasons, we can’t always avoid the rain nor blaming the weather. What we can do is to learn important safety information and be prepared.
Let’s a take a look at some of the key safety measures to make driving in the rain less risky.
1. Make sure your car is in good condition
If you’re heading out in the rain, the first step to do is to check your car’s condition – wheels, electricals, and main control system. Add some air if you notice your tires need more pressure or change them if worn out. Worn tires can cause aquaplaning, which is dangerous.
Test some of your key components as well that will be especially useful during the rain, such as lights and wipers. Finally, check that your accelerator, clutch pedal, and steering wheel are working well and comfortable for you.
2. Make sure you’re fit enough to drive
Driving under the rain certainly requires more focus, not to mention your visibility may also be hindered. Make sure you’re fit enough to do this throughout the drive.
3. Slow down
On wet roads, drivers need to slow down to avoid slipping tires. One source mentions to be particularly careful on the first 30 minutes of raining. During that period, the rainwater will mix with dirt and oil, making the surface even more slippery.
Moreover, high speed may cause aquaplaning, causing your moving tires to lose contact and grip with the surface. At a lower speed, your tires will have better traction. Stay of the safe side and keep your speed at maximum 60 kmph.
READ ALSO: GETTING AROUND AQUAPLANNING ON THE TOLL ROAD
4. Keep a safe distance
Driver’s visibility is one thing that is likely compromised during the rain. Make sure you keep a safe distance with the vehicle ahead to give yourself enough space for braking. You do not want to be surprised in case the other driver suddenly brakes, or even skidding, losing traction, and be involved in a traffic incident.
5. Turn on lamp at the right time
When the rain is quite intense and you feel the need to signal your position to other drivers, you can turn on your headlights and taillights, or even fog lights when the rain is especially hard. Many new models are also equipped with daytime running lights that are already quite bright.
However, avoid turning on your hazard lights, which signal that you are in trouble. Hazard lights should only be used when your car experiences trouble and needs to stop. Using these lights when cruising will only confuse other drivers – especially at a junction.
6. Avoid inundated areas
Avoid inundated sections on the road including the seemingly innocent water puddles, especially when you’re driving above the recommended speed limit. With so much water around, you may not be able to tell if there is a hole on the road, and how deep.
7. Stop when it pours
Finally, always put safety first. Remember that your family is waiting for you to get home safely, so it’s better to wait, especially if the rain gets harder. If you’re already driving, find a safe spot to stop – away from tall trees, billboards or large signs, or a standing wall. Any of these may collapse due to strong winds in an adverse weather. Take a break from driving until it’s safe to continue and give yourself a minute or two to rest.