The rainy season is upon us all once again and after a seemingly endless summer season. As we transition into the cuddle weather that most of us look forward to, we can also expect the risks that come with it should we decide to take a drive outside.
In this regard, defensive driving is of utmost importance as your wheels go for a spin. Practice safety above all else and make sure to have a clear and objective mind once you take your seat in the driver’s corner.
Below are some tips to help you with these things, especially during this cold and wet weather.
Anticipate turns and brakes in advance.
If you’re already driving and the rain suddenly pours down, immediately decrease your driving speed. This will help prevent your car from spinning out of control because of lack of friction between the tires and the surface of the road.
Clear your field of vision.
Activate your wipers and utilize different speeds depending on the amount of rain outside.
If it’s a gentle drizzle, use the wipers intermittently, just long enough to clear the windshield from the raindrops.
On the other hand, use the wipers consistently until the rain stops in case you’re dealing with a heavier downpour.
Consider temporarily parking somewhere clear of potentially flying objects if the winds are too strong. As much as possible, avoid areas where you may find loose objects that the wind may blow away.
Slowly and steadily win the race…
…except that it’s not really a race, but a careful journey to your destination.
Go slowly when you step on the gas.
Go slowly when you decide to stop at the red light.
Go slowly when you make turns at the nearest corner.
Try to make haste and you’ll find your auto skidding before you know it.
Driving slowly will make it easier for you and the other motorists to navigate the road because it’s easier for all of you to predict the what-ifs and act accordingly.
Avoid driving at night.
During the rainy season, expect low visibility, especially when you know a storm is approaching in a few days or hours. The level of visibility is down to almost nil if you try to drive in this type of weather during the evening.
Even if the general area where you’ll be traversing may have adequate lighting, most of the images that you can view from your windshield are blurred at best. With this type of vision, it’s more difficult for you to say if you’re about to collide with another vehicle or if you’re not running over a solid road obstacle.
Monitor your gas levels.
Always, always perform a quick check on the fuel meter before you set off for the day or even just for a quick errand. You don’t want to find yourself in the middle of EDSA traffic while praying hard that your vehicle will not go dead within the hour.
Avoid tailgating as much as possible.
This helps prevent accidents because it gives you and the people around you enough time to react.
This is especially important when the car in front of you suddenly moves in a direction you haven’t predicted.
Accurately measuring the distance from the auto before you is not practical. Instead, a general rule of thumb is to make sure you see the entire car from where you’re sitting – that is, from the top of the roof to the bottom of the wheels.
Consistent maintenance is a must.
Because the rainy season equates to wet and slippery roads, assessing and maintaining your tires is a top priority.
Even if your tires are of top-notch quality and from the best brand, you can never be sure if they’re still safe to use in the rain if they have already gone through significant wear and tear.
It’s much harder for the tires to have traction if there’s not much tread depth. Thus, this makes it harder for you to stop your car if you pull on the brakes.
Check your wipers. The best time to run some tests is during car wash sessions. Let each wiper setting run for a minute or two, just to get a clue if they’re working well or may need a quick trip to the repair shop.
Check the brake and brake fluid. The effectiveness of your brakes says so much, as far as your level of control on the road is concerned.
If you think you need to enhance or buy some car additions to further boost safety, check out car reviews to find out some helpful features.
Perform a routine rain check every day.
If possible, wait for the weather out for a bit before you set off driving again. While it’s not guaranteed that the rain will completely stop after a few minutes, it may somehow be reduced to a light shower.
Head out when this chance comes. While the roads may still be wet at this point, at least you will not have to go through zero visibility for some time.
Avoid areas with heavy traffic.
Check the news for any major traffic updates before you go for your usual car ride. An alternative is to check reputable social media pages for similar reports.
Even search engine results can lead you to updated status on the road if you know how to search for it using the right terms.
Aside from these, use navigating apps to avoid the following while driving:
- Locations under construction
- Roads with heavy traffic
Because you already have some hints from the app, it’s easier for you to plan your routes ahead.
Water isn’t a friend right now.
Anything that can get between the tires and the road, avoid when you can – in this case, water. As previously mentioned, water can significantly decrease friction.
Decreased friction can increase the risks of having more accidents when you’re driving due to decreased control in steering.
While it’s somewhat exciting to drive over puddles, don’t do it. Aside from causing your tires to have less traction against the asphalt or concrete, this may also pose risks, such as getting stuck in a deep hole that you’ve underestimated as a shallow irregularity.
Check your mirrors from time to time.
While you’re sure that you’ll consistently practice defensive driving at all costs, you can’t readily say the same thing about your fellow motorists.
With the help of your trusty side mirrors, you can readily predict what happens on the road in relation to the other drivers who may be approaching your car.
This is especially true when you’re about to come across an impending red light, when crossing intersections, and when going through tight corners.
Constantly check the side mirrors to make sure the road is clear and you’re not about to bump into another vehicle or a hard surface.
You can say that driving during the rainy season is directly related to traffic. The gloomier the weather is, the heavier the traffic gets.
And when the traffic is heavier, emotions seem to be at an all-time high. Anticipate the scenarios that come with this state and make sure your feelings will not get the best of you as you step on the accelerator.