The rains are here. Rains provide much needed relief from the scorching Indian heat but at the same time makes driving in wet conditions more stressful. Maximum weather related road accidents happen during the rainy season. Heavy rains reduce visibility and can degrade roads with potholes.
Here are some useful tips to help you drive safely in the rains:
- Get your Vehicle ready: First thing to do is to make sure your vehicle is ready for rains. Check your vehicle tyres. Make sure your vehicle’s windshield wipers, defroster, headlights, brake lights are in good working condition. Here is a complete checklist to get your vehicle ready for Monsoons.
- Slow down: Wet conditions reduce traction, which will increase stopping distance for your vehicle when you brake and water on the roads can cause ‘Hydroplaning’ causing your car to skid out of control. Drive slow to get the traction you need to avoid skidding.
- Increase your following distance: During rainy conditions, the stopping distances increase. You should also increase the following distance, the distance between your car and vehicle in front of you, to give yourself more space to stop. With more space, you can brake gently and with reduced force with minimal chances of skidding.
- Turn the headlights on: When it is raining, the visibility is reduced. When the visibility is poor for you, it is poor for other drivers as well. Turn on your headlights. Give signal in advance whenever you are going to turn, stop or change lanes. Sudden stops and lane change can result in collisions.
- Avoid driving through water: Avoid driving through water wherever possible. The risk of hydroplaning increases when driving through water. While driving through water:
- Slow down and place transmission in low gear
- Gently put on the brakes and increase engine RPM while crossing the water
- When out of the water, maintain light pressure on the brakes for a short distance to heat then up and dry them out.
- Make a test stop when it is safe to do so, to make sure the brakes work well. If not, dry them out further as described above.
- Always use Windshield Wipers and defogger: Use windshield wipers even in light rain. Most cars have adjustable speed for wipers. Use windshield washer occasionally to clean dirt from the windscreen caused by vehicles in front of you. Precipitation can quickly fog-up the windshield. Using front and back defrosters help in maximizing the visibility.
- Other important things to note:
- Avoid using cruise control during the rains or wet road conditions.
- Be mindful of intersections and merging lanes.
- Be a mindful driver.
We hope these tips are useful for you when opting to drive in the rain. You can easily increase your safety levels while driving in wet weather by consciously employing these safety precautions. If you have any tips of your own, please do share with us in the comment section below.
Wishing you a safe and enjoyable driving experience during the Monsoons.