Driving tips for remaining calm in a storm
It’s the summer rainy season on the Highveld and many other parts of South Africa.
Living in a relatively dry country, many South Africansdo not take too much notice of the effect of rainy weather on driving conditions. The truth of the matter is that rain affects both visibility and the way your car’s tyres grip the road.
Besides switching on your headlights, here are a few golden rules for driving in a downpour.
Reduce your speed
Even when the speed limit allows you to drive at a higher speed, you should slow down according to the weather conditions. Allow for additional travel time, or try to delay travelling until the rain has subsided.
Increase your following distance
Wet roads affect braking distances and the time it takes to bring your vehicle to a complete stop. At higher speeds, there is also a chance of aquaplaning, which is caused by a thin layer of water building up in front of moving tyres. A car with smooth tyres is even more likely to aquaplane.
Be aware that braking or trying to steer the car in a specific direction could lead to skidding. You’re your car is aquaplaning, it is better to simply ease your foot off the accelerator until the vehicle has slowed down sufficiently to make contact with the road again.
Gently does it
Even in gentle rain, roads are more slippery as water mingles with oil, dust and rubber deposited on the road surface over time.
Therefore, all your moves – steering, accelerating or braking – should be made smoothly in wet weather. Roadworthy tyres with sufficient tread will ensure better control of your vehicle, so make sure your tyres are up to standard.
Even with the greatest of care, we all know accidents do happen. In such an event, it is most reassuring to know that you have the protection of excellent. Make sure that you take out cover with a company that offers too.
Often overlooked, windscreen wipers are a critical safety feature. Take note of the whenever you clean the windscreen, and replace torn or uneven wipers.
If the rain is coming down in torrents and your wipers are unable to cope with the deluge, find a safe place to pull off the road and wait for the storm to pass.
In a water-scarce country such as ours we are always extremely grateful for the rain, but let’s make sure we’re ready for any storm.
This article was paid for by MiWay.