MANILA: Here we are again, with the second set of advisory note on 'Cars & Rain'. In our prior article, we informed you about six car care tips or check that one should do before taking his/her car out on the road. Now, here in this write-up, we'll be discussing how one should drive during the time of heavy downpour when roads are completely wet and there is a potential risk of skidding and aquaplaning. Also, at the end of the article, you can find the list of essential items that you should keep in your car during the monsoon season as you never know when one of them proves a lifesaver.
Starting off, here are ten driving practices that one should follow while taking his car out in the rain and these practices will surely avoid possible accident risks.
1. Complete attention just on ROAD -
The first rule to drive in the rain is the requirement of full attention, as a single distraction may prove fatal to one's life. Usage of gadgets like mobile phone and audio system is a big no-no. Also, always remember to be in complete sync with the surrounds, time and again have a look at the rear view mirror and ORVM. Such an attitude will save you from vulnerabilities like falling trees, hanging electric wire, electric pole, mudslide and other hazards.
2. Switch on your car's HEADLIGHT -
No matter whether it's broad daylight or nighttime, it's always advisable to switch on the headlights and if there is an option of fog lamps, switch them on too. Such a move will help increase your visibility by manifold, thus preventing you from ending up in any sort of trouble.
3. Keep in check with your SPEED LIMIT -
Bad weather conditions are responsible for many life taking accidents, as during such trivial times you tend to lose control of the vehicle. In such times it’s better to have complete control of your car and drive it at a speed that you feel comfortable in. Also, remember your speed should be in a limit that gives you good road visibility and time to make apt driving decisions.
4. Maintain good DISTANCE -
Rainy season is a difficult time for commuters, under such situations, one should not only drive safe but should also maintain a good distance from the car ahead, as you are not sure about the other driver's reaction to a particular road situation. Also, he'll be first one to see and encounter any road obstacle that may not be visible to you and that may require the application of sudden brakes.
5. Always try and relate your speed with TYER CONDITION -
A smart driver knows how much his car can take, what all are its attributes and what are its shortfalls. You too can be a part of this smart driver club by simply checking your tyres health. Now, it's a known fact that bias ply tires are a better option over radical tiers, but ever the age of the later should be checked before going out, as wear out radial tires lose their grip and ability of channel water on wet roads.
6. Get ready for reduced BRAKE PERFORMANCE -
Rainwater can affect your car's braking performance, especially if your vehicle is submerged in water. So, it's is always better to keep your traction levels under limit and the minute you get on clean road, practice the brake drying technique mentioned in the previous article.
7. Know what to do in AQUAPLANING CONDITION -
Not aware of the term, well by aquaplaning we mean a situation when your car tyres are no more in touch with the road and the car is basically floating. Under such a situation, it's best to turn off the gas and turn the steering wheel in the desired direction until tyres regain road connection (it may take a while, but it's best to remain calm).
8. Avoid FLOODING ROADS -
If a warning is generated in public interest or you are aware of water clogging on a particular road then it’s advisable to avoid such areas. As there is a risk of water entering the engine bay and damaging it badly that may even bring your car to complete hold. Also, as mentioned above it may affect brake performance and aquaplaning.
9. Avoid road PUDDLES -
Heavy rain not only affects your car's health but it also takes a toll on concrete roads and the biggest example of it is the formation of water puddles. Now, we'll advise you to not drive through these puddles as they can be deep and your car tyres are at a risk of getting struck in the same.
That's all on the monsoon driving tips front, now let's get onto the list of must-have items one should keep is his/her car -
1. Plastic Sheets and Umbrella -
It's advisable and in your car interest to cover your car seats with plastic sheets, as it will not let the seats absorb water if in case you have a wet occupant and will also avoid the after foul smell. Another thing which we advise you to carry along is an umbrella, as it will prove useful if in case you wish to get down to check or get something.
2. Shovel and Tow Rope
These two things are a must for Filipinos, who are planning to go on a drive during a heavy downpour. A shovel will help remove mud around the tyres and the tow rope will help tow vehicle if in case it gets stuck in mud or pot hole.
3. Ready to eat food and First-aid kit
Next, will advise you to keep your car medical kit up to date with all essential medicines and ointments. Also, keep in-stock some ready to eat food items and water, as you never know when you get stuck in a heavy jam or in a like situation.
4. Phone Charger & Flashlight
A phone charger will ensure that you are in constant touch with your family back at home, it'll give them a sense of relief. Another important item that we'll advise you to carry along is a flashlight, just in case if you get stuck in the dark.
Best of luck, have a safe rainy drive.