- February 28, 2009
Tips for Driving Safely On Wet Roads
In order to avoid such instances it is better to take some preventive measures. Here are few tips that can help you drive through wet roads safely.
Check your tyres periodically
You should always inspect your tyres before going for a ride. Check whether your tyre is inflated properly.
You have to maintain your tyres at the pressure prescribed by the manufacturer. You can find it in the users’ manual and it is also found on various parts of the car.
Check whether your tyre has usual tread depth. If the tread depth is proper you will have fewer chances of aquaplaning and skidding. Make sure that you check the pressure of your tyre at least once in a month.
Relax your accelerator a bit
You should slow down if its starts raining. In wet roads skidding is a common phenomenon. At lower speeds traction improves. So you should reduce the speed of your car to prevent skidding.
Make yourself familiar about skid recovery
Even the best and the most cautious drivers can fall victims to skids. So learn how to recover from it.
If skid happens, do not go hard on brakes. Rather exert steady but firm pressure on the brakes and turn the vehicle in the skid’s direction.
Do not drive too close to the car in front
You should not stay too close to the car in front of you when the roads are wet. This is because you may need more room for errors while driving on wet roads.
You should maintain at least a 2 car space between you and the car in front. This will allow you more time to react in case something goes wrong.
Check whether every thing is working properly
When driving in wet condition it is essential that your steering, brake, clutch and accelerator work properly. You should also check whether all lights such as your headlights, brake lights turn indicators, and rear lights are working properly.
Avoid braking if feasible
Do not use your brakes often. Instead you can slow down by easing your accelerator. This way you can avoid instances like skidding. Switch on your headlights if it starts raining. By doing so, you can see the road clearly. Also it will make your car visible to other drivers.
Try to avoid aquaplaning
While driving in a wet condition, the water ahead of your tyres may gather at a faster rate and the weight of your car may not be able to push the water out of your way. When this happens, owing to the water pressure your car may rise up and end up sliding with a layer of water between the road and your car’s tyres.
This is known as Aquaplaning. When aquaplaning occurs there will be no contact between the road and tyres and it puts you in a greater risk of drifting or skidding.
You can avoid aquaplaning by
- Keeping your tyres inflated to recommended levels
- Maintaining deep treads on your tyres
- Slowing down
- Moving away from puddles
- Driving on the tracks of the car in front of you
Learn how to recover from aquaplaning
Like skidding, aquaplaning can also happen to any driver. So learn how to tackle it when you happen to encounter it. When aquaplaning happens, you should not apply brake or steer your vehicle suddenly. If you do so your car may skid. So instead, Slow down your car by releasing the accelerator until your tyre gets back into contact with the road. If braking is necessary, apply only gentle pressure on the brake unless your car has anti lock braking system. If you have anti lock braking system then you can brake as usual.
Do not drive if the rain is too heavy
If the rain gets too heavy that your wiper blades could not handle the load of water on the screen then you shall stop immediately. This is because it may reduce your visibility and you may not be able to see the other cars or edges of the road clearly. As a result the probability of crash or your car drifting away from the road is more.
So it is recommended to stop when the rain is too heavy and move after it eases out. You can stop at places where you feel it is safe. If you are forced to park on the roadside then switch on your warning lights and headlights for alerting other drivers. Also take care while the weather is cloudy. It may reduce your visibility to some extent.
Beware of First rains
You should take care when driving during first rains, particularly during the first half an hour of rain. First rains are particularly risky because the water mixes with oil and mud on the road and causes a slippery layer on the road. This makes it difficult to drive in first rains as car drivers do not get the control they expect from the car.
Other cautions to be taken
After passing through standing water you should apply your brake gently in order to dry your brake shoes.
Do not drive continuously. Take rest at periodic intervals. Stop every two hours or every 100 miles.