After nearly a year of no rains, the clouds have rolled in for a heavy downpour. While the weather at present is most certainly Instagram-worthy, driving in such conditions is a different story.
Driving in the rain is easily one of the most challenging driving situations to face in this region. Whether it’s just a sprinkle or an unexpected shower burst, you can never be too careful.
It should go without saying, but rainy driving conditions are directly proportional to higher accident rates. Regardless of what part of the country you’re in, you will have adverse rainy driving conditions at some point. Knowing what to do in such circumstances can provide a world of difference.
We’ve heard of a litany of tales about facing accidents and mishaps on wet roads. Keeping that in mind, your trusty auto service experts at Service My Car have come up with the ultimate guide to driving in the rain.
Read on to know more about what to do on the road. We also prescribe some of the most common rain-related damages to look out for. This should guide you on what to do after you’ve been through the treacherous drive.
Is driving in the rain hard?
Driving in the rain can be one of the most challenging driving conditions to experience. The grease and oil from your vehicle produce an inconspicuous film on the road, which becomes slippery when it rains.
As a result, you’re advised to follow defensive driving techniques. By reducing your speed and driving defensively, you largely mitigate the risks of hydroplaning.
How slow should you drive in rain?
You’re advised to slow down at the first sight of rain, especially when it happens after a dry spell. As we covered above, the oil and dust have just started to set in at this point, making the roads slippier than usual.
Slow down gradually, and drive at least 6 to 10 kph slower than you usually would. If your car starts to hydroplane, slow down gradually and avoid applying the brakes suddenly, to prevent skidding.
What are the 10 critical tips for driving in the rain?
1 – Wait out the rain if possible
This is especially important if you’re a new driver or you’re just uncomfortable driving in the rain. Try to postpone your trip and wait until the weather improves before committing to the road.
You’re advised to avoid putting yourself in danger if the conditions are too hazardous. Moreover, you mitigate other risks and damages by putting your trip off until the weather improves.
2 – Ensure your car’s equipment is good to go
If you’ve got the time, ensure your car’s equipment is good to go before you set out in the rain. Check if all your lights, especially the headlights, the indicators, and the taillights, are in working order.
Check if your windshield wipers are working correctly as well. Another nifty tip is to check if your car’s tyre treads are fine. If they seem too worn out, then you’re advised to skip the trip and get your tyres replaced.
Such adverse driving conditions can drastically affect various components of your vehicle. A lot of cars need to get their windshield replaced after a storm. If you happen to face such a situation, look no further than Service My Car for your next car windshield replacement.
3 – Slow down as much as you can
If you’re already on the road and it’s raining, then there’s probably no turning back. As we covered before, the first thing you ought to do is to slow down, keeping nearby traffic in mind.
It’s vital to remember that your vehicle’s reaction time becomes a lot slower during the rain. As a result, you must slow down when driving in the rain.
4 – Turn on your headlights
Since heavy downpour results in reduced visibility, you’re advised to turn on your headlights. As a result, it not only improves your visibility, but makes you more visible to other drivers on the road.
However, there’s a caveat. Driving in heavy rains often results in electrical failure after a while. Many car owners have reported facing issues with headlights and cabin lights after driving in the rain. More often than not, this points towards a problem with the battery or the electrical unit.
Service My Car can solve any car trouble that you may have. If you’re facing such electrical issues after being out in the rains recently, you can get a car battery replacement from us.
5 – Don’t forget to use your windshield wipers
Now, this might seem like common sense, but many drivers forget to turn on their windshield wipers. Most modern cars also have speed adjustment settings to face anything from a gentle drizzle to a heavy downpour.
If you think your windshield wipers aren’t as effective as they used to be, it’s best to get them replaced. If you hear any scraping noise while they’re operating, or if they leave streaks behind on your windshield, it’s time to replace your windshield wipers.
6 – Keep a safe distance between the cars around you
While this is a great tip in general, it’s a lot more vital to maintain safety in the rain. As we mentioned earlier, your vehicle has a slower reaction time in the rain.
As a result, by keeping a greater distance between the vehicles around you, you also accommodate the difference in reaction times. The rule of thumb is to maintain the length of at least multiple cars in front of, and around you.
7 – Avoid heavy braking at all costs
You must avoid hard braking in such conditions to prevent hydroplaning. If you want to slow down your vehicle, it’s best to take your foot off the accelerator earlier than you typically would. Another tip here is to avoid using cruise control, so you’re totally aware and in control of your vehicle.
8 – Watch out for large puddles of still water
The first reason to avoid large puddles is to reduce the risks of hydroplaning. Another critical factor to consider is water seeping into vital components of your vehicle.
Regardless of how high your vehicle’s suspension is, if your car isn’t designed to go on shallow waters, it’s best to avoid puddles entirely. If water seeps into vital components like your engine, it can cause major failures down the line.
Many motorists have reported extensive engine damage after driving through large puddles. If you happen to find yourself in such a situation, it’s best to get a car engine repair from Service My Car.
9 – Let your foot off the accelerator when hydroplaning
If you’ve followed all the aforementioned steps, but still find yourself hydroplaning, it’s best to be proactive. We’ve talked a lot about hydroplaning thus far. It only makes sense to explain the phenomenon.
Hydroplaning, or aquaplaning, occurs when the tyres of your vehicle can’t come in contact with the surface of the road because of the water that’s lodged in between.
Hydroplaning is one of the most common risks to drive into in the rain. If you’re in such a situation, it’s best to stay calm and gently let go of the accelerator. Use the preserved momentum of your car to slowly steer towards the part of the road where your tyres can come in contact with the surface.
10 – Ventilate the cabin thoroughly
Rain can cause humidity levels to increase outside. This invariably has an effect on your cabin. During such conditions, your windows may become foggy as you continue driving.
Ensure you use your vehicle’s ventilation system to reduce the fog on your windows, especially your front and rear windshield. You can also lower the cabin temperature by cracking a window open if the ventilation system isn’t working correctly.
All in all, driving in the rain comes with severe consequences. If you feel like your car needs some care and attention after a harsh (and wet) drive, look no further than Service My Car. We also provide more services as well, services as Car Recovery, Car Oil Change, Car Wash, Wheel Alignment and many more.
Our vast service network ensures your car gets taken to the best car garages the region has to offer. At our partner garage, you can enlist the services of the region’s best car technicians to get your car back to speed.
Whether you need a full inspection, or serious repair work done, we can do it all. Get a repair quote, or book a service package today on our website, or on the Service My Car app.