10 Tips To Be Safe When Driving On A Rainy Day. All of a sudden most parts of South Africa are experiencing the unexpected downpour of rain. By the look of things it is going to rain for at least a few days. As much as it is a relief from the scorching heat, one has to be safe on the roads.
1. Double Check Your Car’s Equipment
Make sure that your car’s equipment is in working order before encountering rainy weather. Check your headlights, tail lights, and windshield wipers to make sure that they will work efficiently when they are needed. Also check the tread of your vehicle’s tires. Balding tires can severely reduce traction on wet roadways.
2. Ventilate Your Car
Rain causes humidity levels to increase. You may find that your vehicle’s windows become foggy when you operate your vehicle while it is raining. Most cars’ ventilation systems include a function that will work to reduce this type of fog that develops on the interior of your windows and windshield. It may be necessary to pull over if you are no longer able to see through your windows.
3. Slow Down
Not only should you adhere to the posted speed limit when driving in wet weather conditions, you should drive considerably slower than you normally would. Wet roads are very dangerous. Your vehicle’s reaction time is much slower when it is raining. Reduced speed is imperative in rainy weather.
4. Be Careful On Bends
Always change to a lower gear before you take a bend, especially a sharp bend. Your speed should be at its slowest as you enter the bend and both your hands should be on the steering wheel. This slow in/fast out technique gives you most control when driving around a bend.
5. Maintain a Safe Distance Between Cars
Keep a greater distance between your vehicle and the car in front of you. Stopping your vehicle will be more difficult when driving in the rain. Maintain a distance of several car lengths between your car and other vehicles.
6. Watch Out For Standing Water
Driving through standing water can cause hydroplaning to occur. Which is when you lose traction and skid across the surface of the road. To avoid hydroplaning, drive around places where water has collected by changing lanes or safely steering around such areas.
7. Use Your Windshield Wipers
While this may seem like common sense, some people forget to turn on their windshield wipers in light rain. Most cars’ windshield wiper speed is adjustable to clear moisture from the glass in a light mist or in a heavy downpour. There are also several products available that can be sprayed or wiped onto the glass and claim to defer the collection of rainwater.
8. Turn On Your Lights
Whenever visibility is poor or it rains, headlights are a good way to let other drivers know where you are. It’s both helpful to other travelers and makes you safer. Remember, you are not the only one affected by poor visibility. You may be able to see cars without their headlights on but others may not have vision or windshield wipers as good as yours.
9. Wait Until the Weather Improves if Possible
If you feel uncomfortable driving in the rain and can postpone your trip or commute, wait until the weather improves before driving. There is no reason to put yourself in danger if driving in wet conditions is not necessary.
10. Be Ready For Anything
If you are going to an area known to have bad weather, and there is a possibility you may be stuck for extended periods, remember to take extra blankets, appropriate clothing, and refreshments. And, ensure your tank has enough fuel for the journey.