Tips on Driving Safely on Wet Roads
Once again, it is that time of the year where the umbrellas are out in full force against the monsoon season. Some prefer the weather this time of year as it provides a much needed change from the dreary Singapore heat, however those having to commute by public transport may actually beg to differ. Having your own mode of transport especially a car this time of year would definitely ease the hassle of getting your hair, shoes and neatly ironed work clothes thoroughly soaked through. Car rentals this time of year also go up as it leads into the holiday season. That being said, driving on the roads this time of the year has its own fair share of problems. Even for the seasoned driver, wet roads can prove to be a challenge sometimes. Here are some tips to get you by driving safely in wet conditions.
Keeping Safe on Wet Roads
Check Your Tires
Before you even hit the road, ensure your tires are in good condition. This entails ensuring your tires are suitable for the wet roads, have sufficient tire tread, are adequately inflated to ensure proper traction and simply are not too old. A tip which the majority of people do not know is that on your tire, there are 4 numbers which basically tell you the date your tires were manufactured. The 1st 2 numbers indicated the week of the year it was made and the last 2 numbers indicated the year it was made (e.g. 1513). This means your tire was manufactured in the 15th week of the year of 2013. Curious now? Well, go take a look at your tires and find out if you probably should get your tires changed as there have been accidents after people unknowingly drove on tires that were well over 10 years old. If you drive a lot, you should obviously not wait 10 years. If you are unsure, take it to your dealership or tire shop to get it checked out.
Check Your Brakes
Sounds like a no-brainer but the number of times I have driven past people with squealing brakes makes me think twice about driving in front of them. If you have your car serviced regularly then you should be fine but if you feel your brakes get soft and 'mushy' or you hear a loud squealing sound every time you brake, then it is time you get your brake pads changed!
Check Your Wipers
Old windscreen wipers that are worn out tend to leave huge streaky lines and do not wipe away raindrops very well leading to reduced visibility so make sure you get those worn out wipers changed.
Keep a Safe Distance
This seems like another no-brainer but when you are in a hurry or simply can't see clearly in the heavy rain, it is easy to start tail-gating the driver in front. Wet roads also mean braking time and distance is increased. Furthermore, limited visibility increases reaction time. Keeping to a '3' second rule is a good rule of thumb when maintaining distance from the driver in front.
Turn on your Headlights
Anytime there is reduced visibility, turn those headlights on. It helps other drivers spot you even when you're in front!
Indicate Early and Give Way
Indicate early as opposed to changing lanes abruptly will give other drivers time to anticipate your lane change. Also, if you see another driver wanting to change lanes, give way! They will appreciate it as much as you would if you wanted to get into their lane.
3 Things to Avoid
- Sharp turns. This is the best way to find yourself in a skid or hydroplaning (when a tire or all 4 tires are basically riding on water as opposed to on the road) your way towards a barrier or tree.
- Big puddles. As much as big puddles might be fun to drive through, avoid them if you can as that is when the risk of hydroplaning tends to go up.
- Drive in the center lane. This last one is not all that feasible all the time but when possible, stay to the center lane because water tends to collect in the extreme lanes and that is when skids or hydroplaning can occur as well.
These are just some simple tips which will serve you well on the wet roads to help keep your no-claims discount! However, if you have been involved in multiple accidents in recent years and are considered a 'high-risk' driver, you must know how hard it is to be insured by insurance companies. Here at DirectAsia.com, we offer an insurance policy ‘SOS Car Insurance’ that is catered to such ‘high-risk’ drivers. Yes, we are willing to insure you even if your track record has been less than stellar.
For more information on this policy, head on over to DirectAsia.com to find out how a 'high-risk' driver such as yourself can be covered. Any other tips to share for driving safely on wet roads? We would love to hear from you! Leave us a comment below!