TIPS: Driving Safe in Wet Weather
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Driving is more dangerous in heavy downpour, especially at night. To help ensure your safety, here are some tips:
Roads are more slippery when wet. Remember that there should be a four-second interval in between cars, so avoid tailgating or driving too close to the car in front of you. This helps avoid accidents, giving you enough time to brake or take action in case the car in front of you suddenly stops or swerves.
TURN WIPERS ON
Before you drive, ensure that your wipers and washer systems are functional. Front visibility can be hampered by hard rubber on old wipers, while dysfunctional washers that are unable to effectively clean the windshield can distort the view. Replace wipers regularly or at least once a year.
YES TO HEADLIGHTS
According to Autoindustriya.com, turning the headlights on does not improve your vision during rains, but increases your car’s visibility to traffic. This way, the drivers behind will be able to gauge their distance from you.
NO TO HAZARD LIGHTS
Hazard lights limit, not only your vision, but also that of drivers of the cars adjacent to you. These flashing lights, which can be very distracting, should only be used during emergencies or when you want to warn others that your vehicle has become a road hazard.
KNOW THE TERRAIN
It pays to familiarize yourself with your destination—not only with directions on how to get there, but also the location’s topography. Being informed about choke points and flood-prone areas can help divert you from danger and wasted time. If you are driving within Metro Manila, check out MMDA’s (Metropolitan Manila Development Authority) list of more than 80 flood-prone areas to avoid during a heavy downpour. Get the complete list: https://www.facebook.com/Panahon.TV/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1120283194682184
Take caution in driving through moving water especially if the ground is totally obscured. Stop the car before entering the flooded area and check the water level. If the water is deeper than the bottom of your doors or the bottom third of your wheels, attempting to drive through it might damage your electronic control systems. Look for a detour instead.
Road hazards are much harder to see at night. Watch out for road hazards such as open manholes, street diggings, humps and gullies. Aside from these, be aware of pedestrians or commuters. During rains, pedestrians carry umbrellas, which might limit their vision, causing them to overlook your vehicle.
HIT THE BRAKE & HAVE A BREAK
If you have problems with visibility or if you’re feeling uncertain about the road or terrain, find a safe place to park for a while. Learn to wait until the rain stops and for the flood waters to subside. Sometimes, it’s better to wait than to risk your vehicle and safety.
MONITOR THE WEATHER
Chances of rain, expected temperature, thunderstorms and flood alerts – being informed about these can save you. Knowing what the weather will be like within the next 24 hours will give you an idea on how traffic will behave throughout the day.
If the weather is really bad, think twice about going out. If not, it’s better to stay home and be safe rather than expose yourself to harm.
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