It’s the last month of the year which means the rainy season is upon us! For those who are not so familiar with the weather in Malaysia, we have two seasons – Hot Sun and Cool Rain, and towards the end of the year, we get more rain than usual because of the monsoon season.
For those who drive, the heavy downpours can be quite tricky to maneuver, due to low visibility to slippery roads. Here are some important safety tips when driving in the rain!
7 Tips to Keep You Safe
Check Your Tires and Windshield Wipers
It’s always a good idea to just double check your tires and wipers before you drive off into the rain. Your tires ideally should not be bald as the treads on the tires should have a depth of at least 2 mm because anything lower than this can cause your car to aquaplane as the tires lose the right traction and ability to grip on the road.
The windshield wipers’ condition should be checked every 6 months to ensure they are able to wipe the water off your screen so that your view of the road is clear. The sun and the dry weather can cause them to dry out and crack so checking them is really important.
Speeding = Absolute NO
GIF source: Giphy.com
This comes without saying because no matter what the circumstances are, you don’t want to speed during a heavy downpour and put yourself and others in jeopardy. You should always lower your speed when it rains, and the road is wet. If you need to be somewhere at a certain time, you can always leave earlier than usual to give yourself ample time on the road so that you don’t feel any need to rush if it rains.
Turn On Your Headlights
Even if it rains during the day, it can affect the visibility on the road, which is when you should turn on your headlights immediately. Not only will you be able to see the road better, but it also gives an indication to other drivers that your car is there and moving. But no matter how heavy the rain in, if your car is moving, the emergency light should NOT be on! For those who might not know this, emergency light is turned on when your car is at a complete stop to alert other drivers.
Two Hands on the Wheel
You are taught to drive with both hands on the wheel with a reason, so that you have total control of your car! This comes in especially handy when you are driving in the rain with strong wind. You need to grip your steering wheel firmly with two hands so that you can avoid your car from drifting off the road as it is really easy when the road is slippery.
Keep a Safe Distance
Remember the 9 seconds rule that you were taught when you were taking your driver’s examination? To refresh your mind, the 9 seconds rule refers to the distance between your car and the car in front of you. Why 9 seconds you ask? Because if the car hits the brakes suddenly, you will have ample time to react and stop your car before anything happens. Like we said, the risk of accidents happening during a heavy downpour is way higher so you should always stay at a safe distance when you are driving.
Avoid Using Cruise Control
This is a great feature that should only be used when the weather is dry as it increases the risk of losing control of your car in wet conditions. Cruise Control allows your car to drive at a constant speed, so when it rains, it will be really difficult for you to slow down which will only make things worse. Your car will also speed up if you aquaplane when you have the Cruise Control turned on.
Keep Calm if Aquaplaning Occurs
Aquaplane is when a layer of water builds up between the tires of your car and the road which leads to you losing control of your car. You can usually tell if you are aquaplaning, your steering wheel will feel light and unresponsive and you will be able to hear displaced water roaring against the inside of the car’s wheel arches.
So if this were to happen, you need to keep calm and try your best not to hit on the brakes as it will only cause your car to skid. What you should do is gently remove your foot from the gas pedal and allow your car to slow itself until the tires are back in contact with the road. You can then brake gently and correct your trajectory.
Now, these are just a few tips to stay safe when driving in the rain. The ultimate tip is to always stay vigilant on the road, no matter rain or shine. We at CARSOME want you to stay focused when you drive so that you can reach your destination safe and sound. #CARSOMECares.