ROAD SAFETY: I don’t know where you’re reading this story from but Saturday April 22nd 2023, has been a very cold day in Central Uganda. It rained from 8am up to 6pm in some parts of this region.
Since we could not cancel our journey to Western Uganda, We were forced to move. However, in a distance of almost less than 40km from Kampala to Masaka, we found 3 accidents.
We also noticed that out of 20 vehicles coming from the opposite direction only 2 out of 20 had Turned On their Headlights, a sign that at least they had some knowledge of driving in the Rain. How about the 18 others?
We felt it would be important to share these driving tips that can help all drivers on how to handle their vehicles on the road when its raining because there are always limited chances of finding any Traffic officer on the road to penalise bad and reckless drivers when its raining.
Driving in rain, whether a sprinkle or a heavy downpour, can be one of the most difficult driving situations a driver encounters. Rainy conditions are directly associated with higher accident rates. No matter what part of the country you live in, it is almost certain that you will be required to drive your vehicle in the rain at some point. Knowing how wet roads and reduced visibility affects the way your vehicle handles will help you drive safely in rainy conditions.
Now, here are the Tips for Driving in the Rain
1. Wait Until the Weather Improves if Possible. If you feel uncomfortable driving in the rain and can postpone your trip or commute, wait until the weather improves before driving. There is no reason to put yourself in danger if driving in wet conditions is not necessary.
2. Double Check Your Car’s Equipment. Make sure that your car’s equipment is in working order before encountering rainy weather. Check your headlights, tail lights, and windshield wipers to make sure that they will work efficiently when they are needed. Also check the tread of your vehicle’s tires. Balding tires can severely reduce traction on wet roadways.
3. Slow Down. Not only should you adhere to the posted speed limit when driving in wet weather conditions, you should drive considerably slower than you normally would. Wet roads are very dangerous. Your vehicle’s reaction time is much slower when it is raining. Reduced speed is imperative in rainy weather.
4. Turn On Your Headlights. You’re required to turn on their vehicles’ lights while driving in rain. Even if it is only misting, turning on your vehicle’s headlights will increase both your own visibility and other drivers’ ability to see your car on the road.
5. Use Your Windshield Wipers. While this may seem like common sense, some people forget to turn on their windshield wipers in light rain. Most cars’ windshield wiper speed is adjustable to clear moisture from the glass in a light mist or in a heavy downpour. There are also several products available that can be sprayed or wiped onto the glass and claim to defer the collection of rainwater.
6. Maintain a Safe Distance Between Cars. Keep a greater distance between your vehicle and the car in front of you. Stopping your vehicle will be more difficult when driving in the rain. Maintain a distance of several car lengths between your car and other vehicles.
7. Avoid Heavy Braking. Try to slow your vehicle by taking your foot off the accelerator earlier than you normally would in preparation to slow down or stop. Don’t use cruise control so your attention on using both the gas and brake are in tune.
8. Watch Out For Standing Water. Driving through standing water can cause hydroplaning to occur. Which is when you lose traction and skid across the surface of the road. To avoid hydroplaning, drive around places where water has collected by changing lanes or safely steering around such areas.
9. Let Off The Gas When Hydroplaning. Hydroplaning is one of the most common car accidents in the rain because drivers can lose control. If your car hydroplanes, calmly take your foot off the accelerator and steer in the direction that the front of your car needs to go. Avoid making sudden turns or slamming on your brakes.
10. Ventilate Your Car. Rain causes humidity levels to increase. You may find that your vehicle’s windows become foggy when you operate your vehicle while it is raining. Most cars’ ventilation systems include a function that will work to reduce this type of fog that develops on the interior of your windows and windshield. It may be necessary to pull over if you are no longer able to see through your windows.
Staying safe while driving in the rain is simple if you make a conscious effort to employ these safety precautions. Remember that reducing your speed and turning on your lights are two of the simplest and most effective ways of reducing the chances of an accident caused by wet weather.
Compiled by the Editorial team.