Finally, Karachiites are seeing the second spell of the monsoon season and almost everybody seems to be really excited. People want to make the most of this weather that has brought much-needed relief from the scorching summer heat. However, while rainfall is a boon for some, it is a bane for others. Unfortunately, rains often spell trouble for K-Town residents, especially on the roads. Students and office-going people, in particular, face a lot of issues during their commute. Driving in the rain can be really unsafe if you don’t take certain safety measures. Let us help you stay safe during monsoon rains.
Measures You Should Take When Driving In The Rain
If you are scared of driving on wet roads, then follow these key pointers that will help you stay safe. We have put together a complete guide to driving in heavy rain. Even if you are someone who can drive confidently in rough weather conditions, read thoroughly to check if you are taking all precautionary measures.
- Listen to traffic updates
- Check your car before leaving the house
- Prevent water from entering silencer
- Drive in first gear
- Switch on dipped headlights
- Check the depth of water on roads using a rod
- If you face a car breakdown don’t restart the car
- Get on-the-spot support
When you are driving in the rain, you must keep a check on traffic updates. There is a dedicated radio channel, FM 88.6 run by the Sindh Police, where citizens are updated about traffic jams, roadblocks and inundated roads. Alternate routes are suggested. People who are driving through heavy rain can easily take other routes for a safe trip. It is wise to check the weather forecast too, in case there is heavy rainfall, then you shouldn’t step out of the house.
Inspect your car
Check the condition of your car. You must check if there is petrol or CNG in your fuel tank. Make sure there is enough water in the radiator and battery.Check your tail lights, headlights and windshield wipers, if they are working fine. Always keep an emergency torch, a rope and a cell phone charger in your car. Keep basic tools of wheel change such as wheel ranch, jack, and rod, plier, cutter and tape, in case you ever have to change your tire and there is no mechanic in sight.
Prevent water from entering the silencer
When you are driving in the rain it is quite likely that the water may enter the silencer. Passing through flooded roads can become a nuisance if you do not take safety measures. Take a rubber pipe and fix it in your silencer so that water doesn’t enter. This is an extra attachment and once the monsoon season is over you can easily remove the rubber pipe. The exhaust system of the car works well when the rubber pipe is attached. Make sure to close entry points so that water doesn’t stop the engine from working.
Park your car at a dry place
It is advised to park your car at a dry spot. When it stops raining and the water on the roads has receded only then take your car home. You can either go via bus or rickshaw or stay at a friend’s place. If you try driving on a flooded road, the water will enter the engine and hydrolocking will occur. If the engine breathes in water instead of air, the water and liquid cannot be compressed. If your car has stopped, don’t crank it up because it will do more harm than good. Leave it to the professionals. Call for help. This is where your fully charged mobile phone will come to the rescue.
Drive in first gear
It is advised to drive your car slowly because when there is water present on the road it reduces the car’s grip. To top it all, if there is continuous rain splashing on your windscreen, it will obscure your vision and you won’t be able to see the cars in front. Driving your car on a wet road means that when you apply the brakes the car will take some time to come to a halt. When your car is in first gear, it is easier to come to a stop.
Switch on dipped headlights
One of the safety tips for driving in the rain is to dip the headlights. If you switch lights to full beam you won’t be able to have a clear view of the cars on the road. Dipped headlights are angled in a way that it points downwards and not at cars or people. This way you can prevent yourself and others from dangerous road accidents.
Prevent your car from hydroplaning
Hydroplaning occurs when the tires of your automobile begin to ride on top of water instead of running on the surface of the road. It is not necessary for the road to completely submerge in water, for hydroplaning to take effect. Whether you are driving in heavy rain or on roads that are only damp from a drizzle, hydroplaning is a possibility. It can be a terrifying experience as you do not have the controls on your steering wheel.
There are different ways to avoid hydroplaning. One of the major driving tips during monsoon is that you should immediately take off your foot from the accelerator. Don’t use brakes in response to hydroplaning. Applying a sudden brake will only make things worse. Your car will skid away – completely out of your control. The best thing you can do in hydroplaning is to slowly turn the steering wheel in the direction of hydroplaning. This will help the tires realign with the direction in which your vehicle is traveling and will help regain control of the steering wheel.
Keep your car well-ventilated
Heavy rain can cause humidity levels to increase and your cars’ windows can become foggy; this reduces visibility on the road. Keep a dry cloth in the car and wipe off the fog that forms on the inside of your windows or use the in-built ventilation system that is present in most cars. The cars’ ventilation systems include a function that will work to reduce this type of fog that develops on the interior of your windows and windshield. In case the fog is still there, then you might want to pull over if you are unable to see. This is a simple tip of driving in heavy rainfall.
Maintain a Safe Distance
Tailgating is a common driving problem in Pakistan. People are hasty and tend to drive dangerously close to other vehicles. While this is standard advice for safe driving, it becomes especially important to maintain a safe distance between vehicles in the rain. This is just so, God forbid, one has to apply emergency brakes, less friction due to water on the roads doesn’t lead to any accidents.
These were some safety tips for driving in the rain. Always keep an umbrella and a stick in the car to check the depth of water in case you have to park your car somewhere and walk home. There are other tips to take care of in monsoon season. For instance you need to unplug electronic devices in rainy weather and prepare and emergency kit for a power outage.
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