Heavy rain is one of the main causes of auto accidents and cars can be affected in several ways. They can be hit by some loose debris, be thrown off course by strong winds, have their engines damaged by flood, be struck by lightning and so on.
And of course, they can be affected by some drivers who often go apeshit during a heavy rain.
The risk of being involved in an accident during heavy rain can be minimized if you take the necessary precautions.
Here are some tips. But of course, the best tip is this: if you’re not confident of driving during a heavy rain, don’t. Either that or go for a refresher’s course that are provided by driving centres in Singapore.
Have you heard of hydroplaning? It is a phenomenon where drivers who go too fast actually travel above the layer of water on the ground, resulting in a complete loss of grip and the car going into an uncontrollable spin. The only way to prevent this is to go slow while driving, preferably below 60 kmh.
Just so you know, during a heavy rain, no one would fault you if you go very, very slow. In fact, it’s common to move at 60 kmh on the expressway during a heavy rain.
Keep Your Headlights On
To increase your own visibility during heavy rain, turn on your headlights and tail lights and make sure you don’t make sudden turns that may startle other cars and cause a collision. And if you don’t have the habit of signalling before changing lane, now is the best time to develop that: because you either signal or you collide with the car beside you. You decide.
Pay Attention to the Vehicles Around You
In conjunction with keeping your own visibility high, you should also keep a look out for other cars around you, especially if they themselves don’t turn on their lights and make sudden movements. This is especially true for dark-coloured cars – they might just drown in the downpour and only appear when you’re just next to them.
Keep a Safe Distance
With all that rain, the roads will be rather slippery. Therefore, in order to avoid colliding into the car in front of you, increase your distance from the recommended 2-second distance to at least 3 seconds. This distance ensures that you don’t cause an accident even if you need to brake and find that your brakes are wet, which will take some time to be effective.
Brake Slowly and Gently
Sudden braking can cause skidding, where your wheels lose their grip of the road and your car slips forward without your control. If this happens, remember to stay calm and not try to turn the steering wheel to the left or right. Keep straight until you feel the car gaining traction again.
It’s not a good time to have a heavy foot now, my friend.
Keep Your Windows Defogged
Water vapors tend to accumulate on your windshield when the air inside the car is warmer than the air outside. You can prevent this and increase your visibility by pointing your air-conditioning directly towards the back and front windshields, ensuring that they’re colder than or as cold as the air outside.
Keep Moving in a Puddle
If you come across a body of static water or a deep puddle, don’t stop in the middle of it as water can seep into your engine and kill it. Instead, drive through it continuously while pressing gently on the accelerator. Don’t let up on the accelerator pedal as this will keep the water out.
If need to, wear a pair of sunglasses
Surprised? Don’t be. The main reason why you can’t see the lane markings aren’t due to the lack of sunlight – it’s because of the water reflection caused by the heavy rain. Wearing a pair of sunglasses will negate the reflection, leading to a better view of the lane markings.
Never turn on your hazard lights unless you’re stopping
In some regions, people turn on their hazard lights during a heavy rain to increase their visibility, but this doesn’t apply to Singapore: do it here and people behind you would change lane as they thought that you’re stopping. Yes, it won’t affect you, but constant lane-changing behind you would cause accidents that even you yourself aren’t aware of.
Don’t be that selfish fellow, please.
Don’t Stop For Long
It’s especially important when you’re out in a thunderstorm not to stop in the open, or even under a tree for long periods of time as there’s a risk of a lightning strike. Try to get under the shelter of a large concrete building as soon as possible. Or just get off the road ASAP, please.
Keep to the Middle Lane
This strategy will help you avoid the runoff that usually gathers at the sides of the road and decreases your tires’ grip on the road. Also, you won’t be a victim of a splash of water hitting you from the opposite road.