The recent rains that have hit many parts of the country are not going to be over any time soon, if the meteorologists are to be believed. Flooding has been witnessed in many parts of the country and around Nairobi, motorists have had to drive through temporary rivers while others have even spent nights in their vehicles. We ought to do more to ensure that these situations do not recur. Clogged drainage systems and poor infrastructure are mostly to blame for the flooding on our roads. As we seek solutions to these problems, it is important to look into what to do when driving in the rain.
Driving in the rain is a difficult task. Many accidents occur during such weather and many cars experience mechanical failure due to the adverse effects of the rain. While we can do nothing about the rain as it is a natural element, there are some things to look into when driving during such weather;
- KEEP MAXIMUM CONCENTRATION AT ALL TIMES ON THE ROAD;
It is a common thing to see people using their cellphones and even talking on the phone when driving. This is a bad practice. Even when stuck in traffic, ensure that you keep your concentration levels high. This will enable you to monitor your surroundings and ensure that you do not cause any accidents to yourselves and fellow motorists. As such, ensure that you keep your hands on the steering wheel at all times and your eyes focused on the road.
- KEEP YOUR HEADLIGHTS AND HAZARDS ON
To increase visibility during heavy rainfall, it is important to have your headlights on even during daytime. As an additional measure, ensure that your hazard lights are on. This will ensure that the motorists driving close to you are aware of your presence and decrease your chances of an accident.
- KEEP DISTANCE
During rainy weather, vehicles skid and brakes can be erratic. It is important therefore to keep a distance of at least 10 meters between yourself and the car ahead of you. This will ensure that you have enough braking distance in case of an emergency. Driving at a distance also ensures that you make good decisions when changing lanes and exiting roads.
- DRIVE AT BELOW THE MINIMUM SPEED LIMIT
Many drivers are fond of driving fast in the rain. This not only creates a great hazard to yourself but also to other motorists. Ensure that you drive at speeds below the minimum expected speed limit. Driving at high speeds in the rain is likely to impair one’s judgement and is likely to lead to an accident.
- TURN ON THE A/C OR THE DEFROSTER
When one is locked inside a car in the rain, there is a huge possibility of frosting inside the car. The windscreen and other windows are severely affected hence impairing vision. Ensure that you’re a/C is turned on during the rain to ensure that there is warm air inside and thus, smaller chances of frosting. Turning the A/C on will ensure that you also keep yourself warm during your journey. If you’re A/C is not functional, ensure that you have a dry cloth nearby to wipe the frost off your windows. This will help improve visibility.
- AVOID FLOODED AREAS IF POSSIBLE
Cars are not built to survive under the water. Many vehicles will stall at the very moment of contact with water to key areas of the engine. Water affects the electronic systems of vehicles and this leads to stalling. Stalling on the other hand creates hazards to other motorists. As much as possible, avoid flooded areas as these also may have other hazards like huge potholes which could cause further damage to one’s vehicle.
- EXERCISE COURTESY AT ALL TIMES
It is important to always exercise courtesy on the road. Do not overlap. Do not change lanes without forewarning fellow motorists, do not hoot unnecessarily and do not shout at fellow drivers. Remember, everyone wants to arrive at their destination well and in good time. A little road courtesy never hurt.