Get ready for the First Rains

From the RMI Newsletter:

GET READY FOR THE FIRST RAINS

The rainy season is coming. While this is good news for the environment, it also presents new challenges for drivers with reduced tyre traction and visibility. Oil and grease collect on the roads during a dry season making the roads even more slippery and hazardous than during any other rainstorm.

Here are some tips on how to prepare for the rain:

  • Give yourself more travel time so you do not have to rush in bad weather;
  • Adjust your speed to suit the conditions, however, do not slow down unnecessarily as this is just as dangerous;
  • Driving recklessly fast increases chances of hydroplaning;
  • Do not use cruise control and turn on your headlights;
  • Brake earlier and with more caution;
  • Avoid water which has pooled on the roads;
  • If you cannot avoid this, drive through it more slowly in case there is hidden debris;
  • Leave more following room;
  • Ensure there are no distractions in the vehicle before you leave;
  • If you hydroplane, slowly lift your foot from the accelerator but do not brake harshly or move your steering wheel violently;
  • Consider going for driver training on a skip pan to learn how to react if you do lose control during rainy weather;

Another essential way to ensure you are ready for the first rains is to make sure your vehicle is properly maintained. Inspect your vehicle to ensure all is in order:

  • Check your windscreen wiper blades to make certain they still work adequately and have not perished;
  • Check your demister is working properly;
  • Ensure you regularly upkeep your brakes. To test your brakes after going through a puddle, tap it a few times;
  • Ensure your tyres are not smooth and are inflated correctly. Over or under-inflation will reduce traction even more;

 

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