Saturday, August 17, 2013
Three things increase the risk of vehicular accidents during rainy days: decreased visibility, reduced traction and how other motorists behave.
Reduced light and blinding rain on the windshield can greatly impair visibility.
Puddles and floods remove friction and can cause skids. Grease and oil that rise to the surface when it starts to rain makes the road dangerously slippery.
Heavy rains also cause many drivers to slow down or brake abruptly. And then there are the reckless drivers who still overtake or swerve and make other drivers lose control.
MICHELIN Tires, which are built with safety foremost in mind offers helpful advice to help you stay safe while driving in the rain:
Exercise utmost caution when it’s raining. Road conditions during stormy weather may confuse you. Drive a bit more slowly so you can react better to road conditions and what other motorists will do.
Anticipate when you need to make a full stop. Wet brakes are troublesome because they won’t work even if you step on them. Step on the brakes lightly even if you’re still some distance away. Then increase pressure gradually till you make a complete stop. After going through a puddle, step on your brakes repeatedly to dry your rotors. This will prevent you from skidding or losing control.
Don’t tailgate. Make sure you can always see the tail lights of the car in front of you. Better yet, make it a habit to see the whole car in front of you up to the bottom of its rear tires. You need distance to react to what the car in front of you will do. Tail gating even when it’s not raining is a bad idea.
Use your lights and signals. As soon as it starts to rain, turn on your head lights. If you can’t see the road ahead, turn on your hazard lights. Play it safe and honk your horn when passing another vehicle.
Avoid flooded areas if you can. Turn on your MMDA phone app and your AM radio to know where the flood and traffic are. If for some reason you find yourself in a flooded street, stay in the middle portion of the road. It has the least water build-up. If floodwaters are too deep, pull over or park somewhere. Don’t risk being submerged in flood waters or have your engine conk out. Play it safe by using the right tires. Some tire models are made specifically for rainy weather. Use these during the monsoon season to better avoid slipping, hydro-planing, and to get good traction on slippery terrain. Check out the MICHELIN Tire Selector online that can recommend tough, durable tires to arm yourself against the deluge. Visit www.michelin.com.ph for more information. And yes, always make sure you have an umbrella in your car.