Driving on the road through a heavy shower, lightning and storm can escalate stress and anxiety levels of a vehicle driver as well as his co-passengers. The weather conditions demand good judgment skills, safety precautions planning and common sense on part of the driver to ensure safe navigation of vehicle during turbulent weather. Read along to get some important tips to ensure safety of your vehicle, other travelers and yours.
Tips for Pre-monsoon Upkeep
Tires tend to become bald or they lose their grip over a period of time due to wear and tear. An absence of friction from tires negates the effect of your vehicle's brakes. This creates a high probability for occurrence of Hydroplaning or Aquaplaning. Therefore, it is suggested that one should check their tires and spare tires before the onset of monsoons. If required, all the tires can be replaced to avoid problems once monsoon sets in.
The normal expected life of your car wipers is approximately 5000 miles. Old wipers tend to turn brittle and are often incapable of shifting rainwater. This creates unnecessary visibility issues, increasing chances of accidents. Experts suggest that wipers need to be ideally changed every year. Personally, I suggest all my readers to keep a spare set of wipers in your car as an additional precaution.
It is most essential for a vehicle owner to ensure that his car is in a mint condition at the onset of monsoons. There is a general tendency on part of vehicle owners or drivers to postpone a vehicle's repair work. Owners usually visit a car maintenance garage after accumulation of two or three problems. However, the owners should refrain from such laxity especially before monsoons. Before the monsoon begins, the owners should take care that all possible pending problems in the vehicle are thoroughly repaired.
It is ideal to replace defective components of your car before the monsoons set in. Some of such components include broken windshields, window regulating mechanism, electronic central locking system, sunroof and hood mechanism, etc. You may also replace the rusted parts of your car to avoid problems during the monsoons.
Road Tips for Monsoons
Safety Alert News & Signals
It is always recommended to practice caution before hitting the road during monsoons. Make sure to understand the weather conditions before setting out on a drive. As far as possible, avoid venturing out in your vehicle during thunder showers, storms and lightning. In case you have no other option but to drive, always make sure to take the safest route suggested. Also, in case of any road blockages, make sure to park your car in an open space of the road away from trees. There is a high chance of electrocution of trees during lightning which in turn may damage your vehicle if it is parked under the tree.
Turn on the Headlights and Taillights
It is highly recommended to use your car's headlights and taillights during monsoons. This not only gives a clear view of the road ahead to the driver but also makes your car visible to other drivers following your car. Always make sure to switch on your vehicle's headlights when using the wipers.
Most of the roads are known to dispel a multicolored oily mixture on their surface at the onset of the monsoons. This oily substance made up of dust, oil and water is a potential hazard to your vehicle's safety during monsoons. Be on a lookout of such oily patches to avoid your car from skidding.
It is very difficult to control a vehicle's speed on wet roads. Wet roads are a driver's nightmare as it increases chances of vehicle skidding. Therefore, it is recommended that you follow a safe speed limit. It is pointless to overtake vehicles by unnecessary acceleration during monsoons. Poor visual clarity and hidden potholes on the road are likely to be fatal and can damage your vehicle. It is suggested that drivers should keep a safe distance from vehicles in front of them. A thumb rule of 'three seconds distancing' should be rigorously followed for safety reasons during monsoons. All in all, slowing down is the best policy when driving during monsoons.
There is a high chance of failing of your vehicle's brakes during rainy weather. It is suggested, that drivers should make minimum use of brakes and try to control the vehicle by apt use of steering wheel, accelerator, brake and clutch. There is a high chance of your vehicle brakes becoming temporarily useless when your car passes through water-logged areas. It is ideal to push your brakes a couple of times in order to generate heat in the brake rotors. This takes away the moisture from the system.
Design-wise, majority of American roads rise along the center and taper towards the corners. Water flowing off the road's center usually gets settled at the road borders. Formation of puddles makes it difficult for a driver to judge the depth of water. All drivers are therefore recommended to drive along the center of the road and preferably follow the vehicle leading theirs. As far as possible, avoid driving on mud road tracks during the rains. There is a high likelihood of your vehicle getting stuck in the tracks due to marshy landscape.
Crossing Water Patches
It is recommended never to cross any water bodies or streams flowing horizontally on the roads during monsoons since it is difficulty to judge the depth of water at such times. Also, avoid driving over water-logged patches if you are unable to see any road surface below the water. It is necessary for drivers to practice scrutinizing the level of road ahead of them, especially when driving through rains at nighttime. At such time, the road may appear to be straight ahead but the landscape along the road like fields, farms, houses appears to be below the road level. At such times, there is every chance that a road appearing to be straight is actually a water-logged patch. Drivers need to keep one thing in mind, that is, never ever drive on those areas where water levels are deeper than lower end of your car doors. There is every chance of water getting logged in your vehicle's engine thus creating a hydro-lock in your vehicle.
Pedestrians and Livestock
It is suggested to exercise caution and drive with care for safety of pedestrians, animals and livestock crossing the roads during rainy weather. Speeding vehicle is more prone to cause accidents than a controlled one.
These are some of the most essential tips for your personal and vehicle safety during the monsoons. They may appear to be a bit tedious for those who are a bit reckless and lax as far as driving is concerned. It is however, essential to remember that the safety and happiness of a lot of people depends upon a vehicle driver's judgment and skills. Let 'Safety first' be every driver's motto.