Road Safety Tips for Driving During the Rainy Season

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As the rainy season approaches, it is important to think about road safety. Driving during the rainy season can be challenging, especially for novice drivers. Heavy rainfall can reduce visibility, create slick roads, and increase the risk of accidents. Safe driving in the rain is crucial to ensuring the safety of all road users, including drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.  To stay safe, here are some tips for driving during the rainy season:

v Slow down: Wet roads are very dangerous, so you always need to be cautious in wet weather. One of the most important tips is to slow down while driving in the rain. The wet roads increase the chance of skidding, so you must reduce your speed depending on the intensity of rain. Hydroplaning most often occurs when vehicles are driving too fast, so slowing down is important. You should not only adhere to the required speed limit when driving in wet weather conditions but also drive significantly slower than normal.

 

 

v Use headlights: Another important thing you should not forget is to turn on your lights. Headlights are quite important when you are driving in the rain. They not only help you see the road ahead but also make your car visible to other drivers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

v Maintain a safe following distance: It takes longer to stop the vehicle on wet roads, so you must maintain a safe distance from the other vehicles on the road. Ideally, you should always leave a three- to four-second gap between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you, and you should increase this to at least five seconds when it is raining. Not only does this give you more time to stop or adjust if necessary, but it also prevents reduced visibility caused by the spray from other vehicles.

 

 

v Check your brakes: Before the rainy season, it is important to get your brakes checked. Faulty brakes can be dangerous during the rains and can cause accidents. Make sure that the brake pads still have enough friction material and the brake discs’ thickness still complies with the manufacturer’s specifications. Use your brakes as little as possible, taking special care to avoid hard braking if you can. Always slow down, give others room, and take your foot off the accelerator fast enough so that you would not have to slam on the brakes.

 

v Avoid standing water: Avoid driving through standing water because sometimes it is difficult to judge the depth of water, and it can cause severe damage to the engine if it is deep. Driving through standing water can also cause hydroplaning to occur. To avoid hydroplaning, drive around places where water has collected by changing lanes or safely steering around such areas.

 

v Watch out for pedestrians: Pedestrians also face difficulties during the rainy season, so it is important to watch out for them while driving. When rain hits, many pedestrians tend to rush to their destination which may make them less observant and more likely to take risks while crossing the road. Also take care not to splash pedestrians. Watch out for puddles along the roadway where they may be walking parallel to you as you drive. You should be extra cautious of what is going on around you when driving in the rain.

 

 

v Do not use cruise control: Cruise control may be very useful when you are driving on dry roads. However, when activated during wet conditions, it can lead to accidents. In fact, using cruise control can be dangerous during the rains as it can lead to loss of control of the vehicle.

 

v Be alert: Always be alert while driving in the rain, as visibility can be poor, and there can be unexpected hazards on the road. Keep windshield wipers in good condition: Always ensure that the windshield wipers are in good condition before the rainy season, as they are important for maintaining visibility.

 

v Pull over if necessary: Do not be reluctant to pull over to the side of the road if you do not feel comfortable driving. If you cannot see the sides of the road, the vehicles in front of you, or your surroundings at a safe distance, pull over. To pull over safely, turn on your signal, check your mirror and blind spots, pull over as far as possible to the side of the road, and turn on your hazard warning lights.

Navigating the challenges of the rainy season requires more than just adapting to the rhythm of the rain; it demands a proactive approach to road safety. Unfortunately, the blend of nature’s unpredictability and our daily routines can sometimes lead to overlooked dangers. By arming ourselves with these basic tips, we ensure our safety and that of other road users. As the rain paints our country anew, let us ensure that every drop brings refreshment and joy rather than concern. Stay safe, stay informed, and let the rain be a blessing, not a hindrance.

 

Inserted by TSCZ, Operations Research and Marketing Section

Readers can contact TSCZ on the following email: research@trafficsafety.co.zw

The Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe emerged from the Zimbabwe Traffic Safety Board which originated from a voluntary organisation composed of area associations in Harare (then Salisbury), Bulawayo, Gweru (then Gwelo) and Mutare (then Umtali).

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