Rainy Season Car Care: 10 Tips for Driving in the Rain
Driving on a smooth road on a clear sunny day is a lot different from driving in the stormy rainfall with heavy winds. Most car-owners feel anxious to even step out with their vehicle during such weather. This is also a good choice, if you think your car and your driving skills cannot sustain the blows from the rain, it is very smart to remain indoors until absolutely necessary. But what happens when you have to step out of the house in the rain, with lower visibility and unknown potholes?
That’s where these rainy weather safety tips come handy. You should know what precautions you can take to make your rain drive as safe as possible while ensuring your car is also alright.
As much as we’d like to believe, driving in the rain is not like they show in the movies with soft music in the background. It is usually a blaring sound of horn, traffic jams, and a bunch of anxious drivers.
Without further delay, let’s get down to the tips.
Starting with the obvious one, tyres are important and integral for your safety, especially if you’re driving in a season known for skidding the car.
Did you know the rate of accidents almost doubles during the rainy season, and in most of them, car owners fail to judge their own tyres?
Tyres help to keep on the road and go through a lot of friction and wear and tear. If you’re planning to change the tyres, doing them before the rainy season would be a smart move. The wet road reduces the tyre’s grip and may lead to loss of control. Balding tires are also responsible for slipping as they severely reduce traction on wet roadways.
Keep in mind that the depth of the tyre is very important and make sure they are within the recommended legal tyre tread depth so you can be sure to have a safe amount of grip on the roads. Drive with a watchful eye, keeping clear of puddles, unknown water depths, and if you’re to experience aquaplaning (where your car starts to float), don’t panic. Simply ease on the accelerator, and don’t press the brake. Once your speed reduces, you will start having more control of the car.
Lights are another very important part of your vehicle that helps you to be safe on the road when it’s pouring, especially when you’re driving in heavy rain at night.
It is crucial to check all the lights, including fog lights, brake lights, and reverse lights before stepping out in the wet weather. Turning on your light while driving in the rain will not only help you to navigate through the drive and increase visibility but will also help other drivers to see your car on the road and avoid any mishap.
Make sure you’re using dipped headlights so that the other drivers can spot your vehicle more easily. Avoid using rear fog lights as they can mask your brake lights and dazzle drivers behind you.
Lights are a sureshot way to guide through the crowd when everything is blurry, foggy, and gloomy.
Your brakes may not be as efficient as they are in any normal weather and circumstances. With slippery and wet roads, it is advised to maintain a good distance with the vehicle in front of you as the brake may not be as sudden as you want it to be. Better to be safe than sorry!
You can try and take your foot off the accelerator earlier than you do as they will help to prepare for the slow down and eventual stop. It is also recommended to avoid cruise control during the rainy season.
If you have entered a puddle, once you get out of it, it is very crucial to check the brakes. A wet brake will not work efficiently and you need to evaporate the excess moisture off the brake pads. To do so, drive slowly and lightly touch the brakes. This will help you to gauge their effectiveness as well as generate heat to dry the water. Make sure they’re working efficiently before you start driving at a normal speed again.
The Anti-locking Brake System works great to control the vehicle, grip the car, and deal with urgent drops safely. But it is always a good idea to take precautions. Get your brakes checked with your trusted service centre before the rainy season.
A heavy downpour leads to a lot of puddles and standing water that can have any depth and debris. Driving through them is not recommended until absolutely necessary. If you have to go through that path, make sure you get off the car and use a stick to gauge the depth. This will help you to ensure whether your car can pass through it without floating or hydroplaning.
Hydroplaning occurs when you lose traction and skid across the surface of the road. And we don’t want that!
It is best to stay clear of standing water, and if your car does hydroplane, calmly let go of the accelerator and steer in the direction where the front of the car needs to go. Make sure you’re not trying to press the brakes aggressively and making sudden turns.
| Also Read: Seasonal Car Care: Top 20 Car Care Tips for Rainy Season |
Rain leads to a rise in humidity which in turn makes your windows foggy. This decreases visibility and makes it difficult to navigate the vehicle on the road. Most of the cars have a ventilation system or a defrost setting on their climate-control, which can help to reduce the fog that develops on the interior of the windows and windshield. Make sure these options are available to you and are fully functional. If the visibility gets too low, it is better to pull over and wait.
Windshield Wipers – An essential
A functional windshield wiper is your weapon to drive in the rainy season; make sure they are in good condition. As windshield wipers age, the rubber edges that are responsible for pushing the water start to crack and flake. This may lead to the inefficient working of the wiper and hence, making it difficult for you to see through the windshield.
Proper wipers will swipe the moisture of the centre of your windshield, giving you open visibility. You can change the settings as per your comfort and keep the water away from your windshield.
When it starts to rain, the oil and grease that have dripped from the vehicles onto the road tend to rise back to the surface. This makes for a very slick driving condition. Take your time when you’re driving in the rain and go easy on the accelerator. Adhere to the speed limit, and it would be even better if you drive slower than you usually would. Wet roads are dangerous, and your vehicle would not get the same reaction time as on a sunny day.
Crank up the radio and online live traffic updates to keep yourself informed of any accidents, road closures, or any mishap that may be. Check live traffic updates online or on the radio to see if there are any road closures or accidents. Plan your trip to avoid heavy traffic and be aware of current weather conditions.
Alert and Aware
Driving is already very hard in this weather, and if you’re distracted, it can be fatal. Try not to use your phone or perform any other activities while driving. Keep your eyes on the road and pay attention to the surroundings to spot any potential hazard. With lower visibility and traffic, you should double-check before approaching any intersection or while making turns.
Driving during the rainy season means getting late for everything. This is why it is smart to give yourself extra time to get to your destination. Everyone moves slowly on the road when it is raining, and the blocked roads can even make it worse. Make sure you give yourself a 10-30 minute head start to accommodate for the slower pace of traffic. This will also help you to panic drive at a higher speed as you won’t be getting late.
This brings us to the end of rainy day car tips. If you’ve any questions, feel free to leave it in the comments section below. For any of your car care needs, contact Acton Service Centre.