Things to keep in mind before driving in the rains
Rains are the best and the worst weather to drive in. While the cloudy weather makes for a beautiful drive, waterlogged streets and low visibility surely can turn it sour. But it doesn't have to be a rough ride. Here's a list of things you can do to ensure a safe driving experience throughout the rainy season.
1. Ensure your car is rain-ready
Before you head out on to the rain soaked roads, it's important to check if your car is in the right condition. Check your battery charge, fluid levels and the charging system properly. Also make sure your brakes are in perfect working condition. Rains also reduce visibility, so it is really important to ensure that headlights, brake lights and indicators are operational. Replace wiper fluids if necessary, and ensure that the wipers don't leave streaks of water that will further impair visibility while driving. A monsoon check can keep you well prepared for your rainy day rides.
2. Pay attention to tyre conditions
Traction is the key to good movement, turning and stopping on wet surfaces. Since rains reduce friction between the vehicle and the road, the condition of your tyres plays a vital role in driving safely. Consider changing tyres if they are too worn out, for improved traction. Also keep your car tyres inflated to the right amount of pressure, for a smooth safe driving experience.
3. Turn on headlights while driving
Rains reduce visibility while driving. So, it’s important to keep your lights turned on and at low beam in case of rain, regardless of whether it's day or night. This makes it easier for other drivers to spot you and also helps you see the road better. Mud splashes, fogging can also reduce the illumination from your headlight - so it’s crucial to keep them clean for better visibility.
Another important tip is to keep wiping your windshield, side and rear windows in case of long drives. This helps prevent fogging which can lead to diffraction of light and affect your judgement.
4. Keep it slow
Controlling a car is easier at lower speeds. Plus the risk of tyres skidding is also extremely low. Driving slow gives you more time to react, and that could be vital in case of low visibility. Water can increase the gap between your tyres and the road by creating a layer between them - so low speeds can help you avoid hydroplaning i.e. losing contact with the road. As a rule of thumb, it's advisable to stay at least 5 seconds behind a vehicle if it's raining. If there's a bigger vehicle in front of you, keep a larger distance as the spray from their tyres can further reduce visibility.
5. Avoid risks
Even seasoned drivers can experience car skids while driving in the rain. Caution is crucial to safety while driving in the rain. Stay in the middle lanes as water usually collects on the outer lanes. Also don't drive into deep or running water, as doing so may damage your car. If you have to venture in waterlogged areas, ensure the water is not above door level. Keep moving slow while throttling easily at first gear so water doesn't enter your tailpipes. Also, avoid driving during thunderstorms, as lightning flashes can blind you momentarily and that's a serious hazard on the road.
These were a few tips to make your rainy-day drive, even smoother. Trust your judgement, and keep a basic emergency kit and a helpline number handy. Always check the news for weather warnings before leaving the house, and check for diversions away from flooded areas.
Car lease contracts from ALD Automotive provide various value-added monthly services to keep your car running smooth on rainy days. Regular servicing, stand-by car, breakdown assistance, and a 24x7 helpline number 1800 1020 8100 can help ease the worries clouding your mind. Read more about our services for a complete car experience here. Until then, drive safe and enjoy the rains.