Driving in The Rain - What You Need to Know

Driving in The Rain - What You Need to Know

03thMay

After much cry from Kenyans due to the serious dry weather that was biting most parts of the country, we can now breathe a sigh of relief to the sight and smell of sweet rain.  As a motorist though, how prepared are you to tackle showery environments? Driving in the rain does bring with it a fair share of risks and it is quite essential to take extreme caution.

How Safe is Your Car?

It’s very important that your car is well maintained and in a stable condition when the rains begin to pound. You may find yourself amidst a tricky situation such us flash floods which are quite a common occurrence in many parts of the country, hence you need to take adequate measures to guard your safety.

For starters seal off any openings in your car to avoid leakages into the vehicle and protect the interiors from water and moisture.

Clean it frequently to protect it from contaminants that can damage the car’s paint and constantly checking on your tires to make sure the tread is at the right depth and proper inflation levels for better driving comfort and safety.

To Err is Human

A vehicle may not be entirely at fault in the event of a crash or accident when raining.

You may be faced with poor visibility or an inability to control your vehicle. You also face the risk of major hazards such as potholes and debris that may not be within sight. As such, you should adjust your driving habits for rainy conditions.  

If you travel too fast, you run the risk of hydroplaning; a scenario where a tire encounters more water than it can thrust causing water pressure in the front of the wheel to accumulate under the tire thereby separating it from the road surface by a thin film of water which causes it to lose traction.

The result is loss of steering, braking and power control which causes the vehicle to skid

What Kind of Driver Are You?

We have drivers who get terrified by heavy downpour which is quite dangerous because they tend to overestimate danger and go into panic mode, for instance; they may begin to drive at unreasonably low speeds limiting the number of available traffic lanes causing a traffic snarl-up and increasing the risk of a rear end accident.

Then we have the utterly reckless drivers who deliberately choose to ignore the obvious hazards posed by the rain and are eager to experiment and push their cars to extremes with a false sense of belief that they are in control! But are they? Whether due to inexperience, overconfidence or negligence, the failure to take extra precautions puts everyone on the road at risk.

Staying Safe

The reality is that your car may not be in optimal condition to handle wet conditions and you have to take precautions that put you in a good position to stay safe while driving in the rain. Here are simple but critical steps you can take:

  • Take your time. Slow down to help avoid hydroplaning. If you start hydroplaning, release the gas and steer straight until you regain traction; tap brake if necessary.
  • Turn on your headlights and utilize turn signals. Turning on your headlights will help you to see more clearly and also helps other vehicles spot you on the road.
  • Keep your distance around other cars, more than you would under ideal road conditions. Add a few extra seconds than is normal to the car ahead of you (in the rain) as this will give you more time to react to traffic.
  • Avoid over speeding and always leave on time if you’re in a hurry to get to your destination.
  • Brake sooner and more gradually than you would on dry roads. Don’t cross running water and avoid driving through large puddles if possible.
  • Something also worth considering is; avoid driving under heavy downpour if it’s not entirely necessary. If you can make arrangements to move that appointment to a more appropriate date, please do it by all means necessary!

Bon Voyage and stay safe!

 

Last modified on Wednesday, 29 May 2019 09:21

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