Dear All,Rain is blamed for thousands of accidentsyearly. Many of these accidents arepreventable, but are caused by intrepiddrivers who dont realize that fair- and foul-weather driving are fundamentally different.
When the road is wet, the film of the water onthe asphalt causes tires to lose traction. Lessobvious is the fact that rain reduces driverperception —its harder to see through the rain— and also decreases visibility through its actionon headlights, windshields and the road itself.While most people know to slow down in therain, there are definitely other tips that will help
Ø Exercise extreme caution after a long dryspell.During a dry period, engine oil and greasebuild up on the road over time. When mixedwith water from a new rainfall, the roadbecomes extremely slick. Continued rainfallwill eventually wash away the oil, but the firstfew hours can be the most dangerous.
Ø Allow for more travel time.You should plan to drive at a slower pacethan normal when the roads are wet. Keep inmind that traffic is likely to be moving sloweras well. Theres also the possibility that yourpreplanned route may be flooded or jammed.Whatever the case, rushing equals higher risk.
Ø Brake earlier and with less forcethan you would normally. Not only does thisincrease the stopping distance between youand the car in front of you, it also lets thedriver behind you know that youre slowingdown. Also, be more meticulous about usingturn signals, so that other drivers know yourintentions, and take turns and curves with lessspeed than you would in dry conditions.
Ø If you see a large puddle up ahead,drive around it or choose a different route.It could be that its covering a huge gaping mawinto the front door of hell. Well, maybe not, butwater splashing up into your cars enginecompartment could damage its internal electricalsystems. Also, a pothole may be hiding under thewater, just waiting in ambush to damage a wheelor knock your suspension out of alignment. If youcant gauge the depth, or if its covering up theside curb, try to avoid it.
Ø After you cross a puddle,tap on your brake pedal lightlyto dry off some of the water on your rotors.
Ø Turn on your headlightsEven when theres a light sprinkle. It helps yousee the road, and more importantly, it helpsother motorists see you. However, dont blastyour high beams in the rain or fog — itll obscureyour view further, as the light will reflect back atyou off the water droplets in the air. If your car isequipped with fog lights, you may find it helpfulto turn these on, as they throw a little extra lighton the road while making your car easier to see.
Ø Watch out for pedestriansAn ordinarily observant pedestrian may becomedistracted by fiddling with an umbrella or arain slicker. Plus, raindrops deaden sound, sothe usual audio clues for measuring cardistances become obscured. Keep a sharplookout for people in the road.
Ø If its raining so hard that you cant see theroad or the car in front of you,pull over and wait it out .
Ø Track the car ahead of you. Let the car aheadpave a clear path, so to speak, through thewater.
Give a truck or bus extra distanceTheir extra-large tires can create enough sprayto block your vision completely. Avoid passingone, but if you must pass, do it as quickly assafety allows.
Ø Defog your windowsRain will quickly cause your windshield to fogup. Switch on both front and rear defrostersand make sure the air conditioning is turnedon. Most cars climate control systems willautomatically engage the A/C when thewindshield defrost function is selected.
Ø If you start to hydroplane, dont brakesuddenly or turn the wheel, or you might spininto a skid. Release the gas pedal slowly andsteer straight until the car regains traction. Ifyou must brake, tap the brake pedal (unlessyou have antilock brakes, in which case youcan put your foot down).