The long awaited rains are here with us. For the next few weeks if not months we shall be experiencing wet roads that get very slippery when it rains. Regardless, business has to move on as usual and driving is one of them.
It is therefore very important to understand how to drive safely on wet roads to avoid accidents that come with slippery roads. Here are a number of tips you should keep in mind while driving through this rainy season.
1. Keep it slow
It is important to take control of your speed on wet roads, in case you need to make an emergency stop. Keeping your speed low will greatly improve your stopping distance in an emergency situation. Low speed also reduces the risk of hydroplaning.
2. Always keep a safe distance
Wet roads are slippery, hence stopping takes unusually longer time. It is advisable therefore, to always keep a safe distance from the front vehicle. This allows you space for longer stopping distance. Even with the safe distance, you also need to very alert at stop signs and red lights.
3. Watch your tires
Don’t fall for the conventional way of buying tires based on price and physical appearance. You need the tires in optimum performance during this rainy season. Make sure to select a tires with tread designs and rubber to provide enhanced capabilities for wet road driving.
No tire can provide good wet traction once the tread is worn below 2/32 of an inch (1.6 mm) tread depth. Check your tires regularly and replace them at the proper time. In addition, be sure to always maintain the proper inflation pressure in your tires.
4. Avoid hydroplaning
To prevent hydroplaning, first ensure that your tires are in good condition and have adequate tread depth; second, reduce your speed in heavy rain or where water may pool on the road. If you feel your vehicle starting to hydroplane (riding on the surface of the water), take your foot off the accelerator, but don’t hit your brakes. If you have a manual transmission, push in the clutch and let the vehicle slow down until control is regained.
5. Plan your braking
If you are approaching a curve, slow down and brake gently before you start your turn. Driving on slippery roads is difficult. It is even more dangerous driving on slippery road curves. Take time to curve through a well thought out process.
6. Keep your lights on
Long rains can be unpredictable and reduce visibility so significantly. when its raining and foggy, always keep your lights on. It may not help you see, but it will help other drivers see you.