With the constant humidity in Singapore, it is no surprise that it rains frequently all year round. However, this can make driving a much scarier experience for both new and seasoned drivers.
Nevertheless, driving in the rain need not be such a scary experience. Follow these tips in order to drive safely during wet weather conditions!
The first thing you should instinctively do is to reduce your speed. When you slow down, you give yourself as well as other drivers more time to react to potential hazards on the road, especially since it can get hard to see during a heavy downpour.
TURN HEADLIGHTS ON
As mentioned earlier, heavy downpours can make it difficult for drivers to see what is in front of them, let alone check their surroundings. Hence, apart from turning on your windshield wipers, it is important to turn on your headlights to increase visibility of your car, as well as help you to judge the distance of other cars accordingly.
KEEP YOUR DISTANCE
While tailgating should already be avoided during normal circumstances, you should keep a further distance during rainy weather. Wet roads make it harder for you to stop in time, and the distance required to come to a full stop can be extremely unpredictable. That is why keeping a minimum of a three-second distance is crucial during a downpour to avoid accidents.
As much as driving cautiously is important, so are the conditions of your tyres. Ensure that your tyres are well-cared for by replacing them whenever the thread depth falls under 3mm. Doing so helps to reduce the risks of aqua-planing (which causes skidding) as there is better traction provided by the tyres.
Tyres are crucial to prevent aqua-planing, but one of the most helpful things is to avoid puddles altogether. Since puddles cause your tyres to reduce contact with the roads, you may not be able to get a good grip no matter how fresh your tyres are. However, if you are unable to avoid an impending puddle on the road, easing off the accelerator allows you to control your vehicle easily.
As a general rule of thumb, if your tyres are wet and you accidentally lock your wheels, apply intermittent braking technique until your vehicle comes to a complete stop. Do not step hard on the brake in order to prevent skidding.
CORRECTING A SKID
Despite the tips above, you may encounter situations where skidding is inevitable during an extremely heavy rain. This calls for an immediate correction of your vehicle’s direction to prevent endangering the safety of you and other motorists.
If the front of your wheels start to skid, gently lift your foot off the accelerator and maintain the steering wheel angle until you gain back control of the car.
Should the back-end of your vehicle start skidding, it is likely due to too much acceleration or braking during a turn. If you have excessive acceleration, ease off the accelerator till you regain control of your vehicle. If you are skidding because of braking, try to accelerate lightly in order to stop your car from skidding.
Whether the weather, it is always fundamental to drive safely on the roads for the wellbeing of yourself and other drivers. Check out our tips on Driving Safely On The Road!