It’s completely true that the rain can affect your driving so much, you often forget that it does until you get in the car on a rainy day and start driving and suddenly feel that you don’t have as much control of the car as you normally do.
From the scorching heat of the summer to the cold and rainy season, motorists should acquaint themselves with the change in weather, they should carefully adjust their driving habits and those of their vehicles to accommodate the change. Your vehicle during rainy season, if not taken proper care, the water can cause damage and malfunctioning of components in your vehicle, spoiling the fun of driving during this awesome weather.
As your vehicle is dealing with the wet season, make sure to keep a check on your car’s condition: brakes, steering system, tire pressures, tire tread depth. Introduce a few changes into your driving habit by following these maintenance tips to prepare your car for this season and also to keep you safe while on the road.
Here are tips you can implement to help improve your safety when driving in wet or rainy conditions:
1. Get Your Vehicle Checked
It’s of utmost importance to make sure your car is in perfect condition before you head out in this weather. Even the smallest of mechanical fault can cause the biggest of hindrances to your road safety during the rainy season. You don’t want to be stuck on a marshy road changing tires while it’s raining cats and dogs.
You must ensure the tires, windshield wipers, headlights, and brakes of your car of motorbike are working perfectly. In addition, defog your windows to maximize visibility. Products like Rain-X Anti Fog can do the job for you!
Check The Tread On Your Tires
Bald tires are dangerous in wet conditions. Tires are manufactured with grooves to channel water out from under the tread to maintain traction with the road surface in wet conditions. When tires are bald, the grooves are not as deep and therefore less effective at removing water, which can mean a loss of traction.
Make sure you prepare a spare tire just in case something happens.
Turn On Your Headlights
It is the law in many states, including Virginia, to use your headlights when your windshield wipers are in use. This increases your visibility to others, even in daylight hours.
Windshield and Wipers
Don’t forget to inspect your windshield and wipers. Your windshield should be free from stains, its wipers must be in good working condition.
During the rainy season, car batteries tend to drain quickly because of the prolonged use of the headlights and windshield wipers. When their wiring gets wet, it could lead to a short circuit.
Prevent these issues by regularly checking your battery’s condition and replacing it every two years.
2. Drive Carefully
Braving through difficult road conditions entails extra caution. Keep in mind these safety tips when driving during a downpour.
Adjust your Speed to Match the Traffic Speed
Although it makes sense to drive a bit more slowly when it’s raining, you don’t want to drive at a speed below the prevailing traffic speed. Motorists behind you might get too impatient with your slow pace, causing them to drive recklessly. This scenario might end up in a car collision.
So, how fast or slow should you drive in bad weather? The key is to match the pace of traffic. If it moves slowly, reduce your speed. If it speeds up, keep up with the pace. This is one of the most important safety tips when driving.
Slow Down When Approaching Deep Puddles and Curves
If you drive too fast through standing water, it will splash underneath your vehicle, getting its electrical parts and engine wet and causing a short circuit. You’ll end up being stranded in the middle of the road with your stalled car while it’s raining.
You also have to drive a little more slowly on curves to prevent skidding. Step on the brake pedal mildly as you approach curves.
Drive More Smoothly
The rainy season is the time to be a smooth driver at all times. It’s important to steer, accelerate, and brake gently when driving along slippery roads and through poor visibility condition.
3. Control Your Car When It’s Skidding
While skidding doesn’t happen as often, you must know what to do when your car goes into a skid. The most important thing to remember is to not panic, ease your foot off the gas pedal, and avoid slamming on the brakes—you’ll lose even more control.
Steer carefully in the direction that you want to go, until the front of your car is moving in a straight line and the back of your car is in line with the front.
4. Keep A Tab On The Weather Forecast
Rain is unpredictable, especially in the monsoon season. One moment it’ll be sunny and the next it’ll start pouring. So, always make sure you tune in to the weather forecast before you get into your car. And this isn’t just for your present location, but also for the destination.
Stay updated on the weather predictions of the place you’re heading to. If the forecast suggests a spell of rain, adjust your plans in accordance.
5. Time Your Journey
Timing matters! Know which time of the day is safe. Know the distance between your location and the destination, and how much time it would take you to cover it at your intended driving speed. You must understand that rain will automatically slow you down, and it’ll take more time than normal to drive on those slippery roads and get through traffic.
So leave earlier than you thought you should. That way, you can also make sure you don’t end up driving in the night, which is dangerous in the monsoon season. Timing your trip well is possibly the most important of monsoon road safety tips that we can give you!
Stay on top of your car’s condition. During rainy season, it’s brakes, tire pressures, tire tread depth and defroster operation should be checked regularly so that you’ll be ready to deal with a problem when the time comes.
Related: Drive the Car Safely at Night
Now that you know how to drive in the rain, take some precautionary measures to ensure that your vehicle is prepared to get you through a heavy rain.