Here in Pakistan, we face a lot of rains in the monsoon season. Due to a very poor drainage system for roads throughout the country, drivers face plenty of challenges while driving in rain due to low visibility, too much water on the roads, slippery road conditions, and some other factors. In this article, we will point out some effective steps on how to increase the drivability in such conditions and how to safely drive in rain.
1. Reduce Speed
Decreasing the speed is the most essential step in low visibility and wet road conditions. If you are speeding and you cannot see what or where you are driving, then you are welcoming a mishap. Low speeds require less braking time and provide you ample time to react in an emergency.
2. Maintain Safe Distance
It is always recommended to keep a safe distance from the vehicle traveling in front of you. This buys you more time to react if the vehicle in front of you halts or incurs any problem. Moreover, following the tracks of the car ahead allows your car to pass through less water, because, the car ahead disperses it.
3. Use Brakes Effectively
Most new cars nowadays come equipped with braking assistance such as Antilock Braking System (ABS) and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD). These brakes help the driver to maneuver the car under heavy braking by preventing wheel lockup, which in turn allows the driver to steer and change the direction of the vehicle to avoid any obstacle ahead.
However, the majority of cars in Pakistan are old or not equipped with ABS or such systems. Their brakes lock up the wheels under heavy braking and decrease the chance to avoid collision to a dangerous level. Moreover, under heavy rains, the braking systems of old cars are prone to decrease their braking efficiency and even sometimes even fail, i.e, water would get into the braking mechanism and damage it. The best way to keep your brakes warm and effective in rains is to keep pumping them after short intervals; this will flush the unnecessary water from them and keep them working.
4. Turn On All Exterior Lights
It is recommended that you turn on the headlamps and hazard lights in low visibility conditions so your vehicle can be seen from a distance by others. Make sure that the lights in your vehicle are all working throughout the year and replace any faulty or damaged bulbs for the sake of it.
5. Install Quality Wipers
This might sound uninteresting or a minor thing but trust me, wipers are very essential. They get damaged quickly due to intense temperatures of our country and when it comes to using them, they either do not wipe the windshield effectively or they make squeaking noises. Poor wipers not only decrease your vision but also damage the windscreens permanently in the long run.
6. Maintain the Tires
Tires are the only thing that let your vehicle run and brake on the road. Tire health is very important. Worn out and old tires can easily allow the car to skid off the track due to hydroplaning. Thus, you should make sure that your car is equipped with good treaded tires all over the season because you never know when it starts raining.
7. Avoid Heavily Flooded Streets
This is the most important part. We face heavily flooded streets in monsoons and if someone tries to take them with an old car, or even the new ones, the water would mercilessly enter every part of your vehicle and damage both, the electronic and mechanical components. It is best to avoid those streets where puddles of water gets build up and there is a lot of stalled water.
8. Stop and Wait
This may sound stupid and very simple but if you are not in any hurry or there is no emergency then you should stop at any rest area and wait for the weather conditions to get better and then resume your journey. Under heavy rains and low visibility conditions, driving unnecessary not only causes the streets to clog up by increasing the traffic flow but also put the safety of other motorists in danger.
I hope you follow these tips and put safety of others and yourself above everything on the roads.Buckle up and drive safe.