Driving Safely in The Rains; All the Things You Should Do
Singing in the rain is a lot of fun. But driving? Well, not so much. At least according to the latest finding by auto-maker Chevrolet. The company commissioned a study on road accidents in Mumbai, conducted by Nielsen and ValueNotes. It was found that ‘driving during rains’ is considered one of the worst driving scenarios by Mumbaikars (50%), followed by driving in the dark/night (22%). The study also found that the South zone of Mumbai experienced the lowest number of road accidents between January 2014 and April 2016 (the period for which the data has been collected). The top three common concerns faced by respondents during rains are poor road conditions like potholes, open manholes, slippery roads (65%); over-speeding or rash driving (63%); and drunk driving (54%).
The scenario remains equally glum in most parts of India, with rains making way for pothole accidents, multiple car crashes, and the likes. But that doesn’t have to mean that you stop driving altogether. All you need to do is be extra careful so you can enjoy your monsoon drive without hurting yourself or others around you.
Now, with most experienced drivers, the problem arises because they drive subconsciously, out of habit. What they don’t realise is that when it rains, one needs to adjust their thinking according to the present road conditions. Because when conditions are less than ideal, drivers need to stay alert. Here are some tips to drive safe this season –
Turn on the headlights, check your tires
This is a cardinal rule of driving. When the visibility is low, always turn on the headlights. Also, make sure they are on when the windshield wipers are being used. Remember, driving with day time running lights is the best way to avoid mishaps. Do not use high-beam lights as they tend to reflect off the rain and might affect your vision further. Apart from headlights and well-working wipers, relatively new (and not threadbare) tires are a must when driving in rain, especially when you are driving at high speeds on the highway.
Avoid Hydroplaning like the plague
Hydroplaning is basically the technical terminology for what happens when your tires lose traction with the road due to excess water on top of the road. Your vehicle then begins to slide uncontrollably and can cause fatal accidents. And you’d be surprised to know that all you need to hydroplane is one-twelfth of an inch of rain on the road and a speed of more than 56 km/hr. You are also more likely to hydroplane if your tires have extensive wear and tear.
If you hydroplane, let off the accelerator slowly, and steer straight till the time you gain control again. If your car starts to spin, turn your wheel in the direction that the vehicle is spinning, and not against. Also, don’t jerk the wheel sharply in either direction, or your car might flip.
Drive slow and be extra cautious
Speed limit signs are meant for ideal traffic and road conditions, and rain does not feature in that. So, let go of the accelerator and go slow with the driving. Be extra cautious when descending flyovers or approaching merging lanes. Like they say, always safe than sorry.
Debarati is a perpetual wanderer, a thorough planner and a closet Bollywood lover. She spends her time writing and reading about anything and everything, when not busy fantasizing about a cabin in the mountains and food. Lots of food.