How to drive safely in the rain

How to drive safely in the rain

Driving in the rain doesn't have to be a bad experience! Here are safety tips to follow. 

Driving in the rain
Cars in the rain/ iStock

It's rainy season in parts of South Africa. On Monday night, Gauteng residents enjoyed some much-needed rain, while KwaZulu Natal is also currently experiencing some heavy downpours.

Driving in the rain is challenging. It affects your visibility, roadside awareness, and ability to control your car. 

As a result, drivers who don't adhere to safety precautions run the risk of causing accidents.

According to a report by Suzuki, sudden, unexpected, and heavy rain are in the top ten causes of accidents. 

Here are tips to help you drive safely in the rain.

Slow down

When driving in the rain, you should reduce your speed. This is because wet roads are dangerous to drive on. They reduce your traction and your car's reaction time is much lower when it is raining. Wet weather conditions can also cause your car to hydroplane.

Turn your headlights on

When it rains, it can get dark. Switching your lights on will increase your visibility and also the chances of other cars seeing you.

Take caution of other drivers

Driving in the rain can be frustrating. Although you might drive your best, other drivers might not. So, pay attention to how other drivers are driving. 

Also, pay attention to the rules of the road. This means not talking on your cellphone or texting while driving. Just a few seconds of shifting your eyes from the road can result in the unexpected. 

Keep a safe distance

Don't drive too close to other cars. Maintain a safe distance between cars, just in case someone might brake or stop unexpectantly.

Turn your wipers on

Some cars automatically switch the wipers on when it rains, but, if your car doesn't automatically turn on, don't forget to turn them on. Although it might sound like an obvious thing, sometimes people forget and this affects their visibility.

Remember to also check that your wipers are in good working order. 

Check your tyres

Good tyres are important, especially in the rain. 

According to the minimum tread depth (MTD) legislation, the tyre tread should be at least 1 ml deep around the entire circumference of the tire. The tyre tread will help you to get the right traction otherwise you can slip, slide, and hydroplane easily. 

READ: Ten tyre safety tips everyone should know

Don't slam on the brakes

This might cause water to enter into your brakes, and cause them to be less effective. Rather tap your brake pedal first to clear any water and then brake as you normally would. 

Put your hazard lights on

Should visibility become badly impaired, put your hazard lights on while driving so that others on the road can see you easily.

Stop in heavy rains

If it rains heavily, rather park your car and wait for the conditions to improve. This is the safe thing to do.

READ: Gauteng motorists urged to be cautious amid heavy rains, load-shedding

Image credit iStock/ OLENA SAKHATSKA

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