By Kevin Muthomi
“Know how to drive safely when it’s raining or when it’s snowing. The two conditions are different.” Marilyn von Savant.
Heavy rains are a fact of driving life in this country especially this time of the year. Sometimes back I described the state of our roads and it’s now clear we are in a mess. Singing in the rain is fun but that’s not the case with driving. Here are a few tips to keep you safe
CHECK YOUR TIRES
Tires give you the contact with the road surface. They should have plenty of thread depth to evacuate standing water between the road surface and the tire. A lot of research and engineering has been put in place in their manufacture do not underrate them. Check your tire pressure, do not under inflate or over inflate, follow the recommendation from the manufacturer.
Leave for your destination early and avoid confrontations on the road. Slowing down on a wet road is crucial. A wet road offers fewer grips compared to a dry road, this affects your braking distance by increasing it. Hydroplaning should also be kept in mind. Stays focused and avoid distractions such as mobile phones. Have both hands on the steering wheel and avoid rushed steering wheel controls since they can cause loss of control. Brake gently and avoid slamming on the brakes.
Vision technique is Paramount to safe driving especially in foggy conditions. Make sure you are seen by other road users, turn on the headlights. If your windows are fogging up, use the air conditioner to dehumify the air inside your vehicle. Check your wiper blades for wear, if they leave streaks on the windshield it’s time to replace them.
MAINTAIN DRIVING DISTANCE
Leave extra room behind the car in front of you in case a sudden stop is necessary. Use the five seconds rule. This gives you time to stop and adjust your thoughts.
In case you encounter deep or moving water where you cannot see the road surface, pull over with your hazard lights on. This prevents you from stalling or damaging your car electrical components. Remember you can also be swept away.