Safe Driving in the rain.

Driving during the rainy season is dangerous than driving during any other season.During the rainy season, the chances of get into an accident are high because of the wet road surface that increases the chances of skidding and poor visibility.Most of the rain related catastrophies  can always be avoided.When it is raining ,before you start driving, ask yourself if it really is neccessary to be driving in such a condition.What is it that you have to do right away? Chances are that most often than not, it can always wait.Unless it is a matter of life and death,or the rains have found you on the roads,driving in rain is not advisable.My advice though,stay indoors with a cup of hot chocolate and wait until the rain is over then embark on your journey.

However if you must drive through the rain then these are somethings to consider.

Check your tyre treads

As the tyres are used, the tread wear out and it cannot grip the road well and the vehicle’s stopping distance increases especially on wet roads.At lower tread depths, your tyre is unable to deal with the same volume of water than at full tread depths.It is the tyres that transmitt braking forces to the road enabling the vehicle to stop.At lower tyre treads however, the tyre is unable to transmit traction and braking force to the road effectively and that is why your car takes longer to stop (that is why motorists should slow down especially in rainy season). When your tyres run over water, they displace the water.The water displaced needs a place to go to quickly and what better place to disappear than your tyre treads? But if your tyre treads are thin, the water remain on the surface of the tyre hence the difficulty in braking. Tyres when new have a tread depth of 8mm and are legally recommended to have a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm. Have your tyres checked regularly by an autocare technician to determine the depth of the tread.

Check your brakes

The brakes are your vehicles most important safety tool. Brakes do not stop a vehicle, but they do prevent the wheels from turning.The brake pedal is connected to a brake cylinder that is located in the engine.The cylinder is filled with an hygroscopic brake fliud. When you step on the brake pedal,a hydraulic pressure is created into the brake cylinder and the brake fluid allows all the energy your foot releases on the brake pedal to be converted  into braking pressure.This pressure squeezes onto your tyres’ brake pad or shoe and slows the tyres down.

If you happen to have managed to pass through a flooded road surface, it is important to have your brakes checked.Being hygroscopic means the brake fluid could have absorbed more water and become more saturated. When the brake fluid absorbs water, its boiling temperature is reduced and this has negative effects on your braking ability.

Prepare for poor visibility

Driving in rain automatically means poor visibility for motorists.Make sure that all your vehicle’s light are available and in good working condition.Always turn on your headlights when driving in rain, to let other drivers know where you are.Make sure your windshield wipers are in good condition. The wiper blades should be in good condition to clear water away for good visibility.

Large vehicles splash a lot of water and it is not advisable to follow them closely on the road while it rains.They water they splash if you are close to them may impair your visibility.

Has your vehicle been partially submerged?

The pounding rains this season have seen many people incur loses due to fully or partially submerged vehicles. If you ever find yourself in a situation where your vehicle has been partially submerged in water, do not start your car, or if the car is running shut it down. Immediately if it is safe, disconnect your battery to avoid further damage to your vehicle’s electrical and electronic components.

You should immediately then check your engine oil level using the oil dip stick. You know your vehicle better, so if the level is higher than you last left it, then water has entered the engine.

Don’t waste time getting annoyed or feeling hopeless. If your insurance covers such events, then take the first photos of your vehicle especially the damaged parts. Then it is time now to let the vehicle be towed to the nearest service center. Do not wait a day or two for it to be checked,immediate help is the difference between your vehicle coming back to life or not.

Wherever you drive to this rainy season, ask your safe, is it neccessary? If it is ,then be prepared!

Have a safe drive!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hi! I am Brenda Rombo, a mechanical engineer, a writer and a dreamer but you can call me Bee. In 2014 I started a platform to discuss the various issues and emerging technologies in Engineering. During my years both as a student and an engineer I have always been fascinated with new and emerging technologies and diversity and inclusion.

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