Be prepared for the rainy season by conducting these checks on your car
Battery – Wet weather places heavy demands on the battery and charging system. Recharge or replace weak batteries. Check fluid levels, battery posts, and charging system.
Lights – Check the headlights, side-marker lights, emergency flashers, parking lights, front and rear directional signals, taillights and brake lights. Make sure they work and are clean.
Brake System Check brakes for proper operation.
Tyres – Traction is the key to good movement, turning and stopping on wet surfaces. Good tire tread allows water to escape from under the tires, preventing loss of traction. Make sure tyres are properly inflated to the recommended pressure.
Windscreen Wipers and Washer Fluid – Make sure that your wipers are in good condition and functioning properly. Replace brittle or damaged blades. Fill the washer reservoir bottle with a washer solvent.
Emergency Kit – Keep these items in your vehicle in case of emergency:
- Cloth or roll of paper towels
- Jumper cables
- Window-washing solvent or clean water to keep the reservoir filled and windscreen clean
- Warning devices – triangles
- A tow rope
- An umbrella/rain coat
DRIVING IN THE RAIN
Beware of slippery road – engine oil and grease build up on the road over time during a dry period. The road becomes extremely slick when this mixes with water. For this reason the first few hours of the rainfall can be the most dangerous.
Give more time to travel – You should plan to drive at a slower pace than normal when the roads are wet as traffic is likely to be moving slower as well. Your pre-planned route may also be flooded or jammed.
Brake earlier and with less force – than you would normally. This increases the stopping distance between you and the car in front and also lets the driver behind you know that you’ are slowing down. Always use turn signals to alert other drivers of your intentions. Take turns and curves with less speed than you would in dry conditions.
Stay toward the middle of the road to avoid deep standing pools
If you see a large pool up ahead, drive around it or choose a different route. It could be deeper than you may anticipate and driving into it may damage your wheels or suspension. Water splashing up into your car’s engine compartment could damage electrical systems.
Don’t attempt to cross running water – You could get washed away if the force of the water is greater than the weight of your vehicle. After you cross a puddle, tap on your brake pedal lightly to dry off some of the water on your rotors.
Turn on your headlights, even when there’s a light sprinkle to enhance visibility. However, high beams in the rain or fog will obscure your view further, as the light will reflect back at you off the water droplets in the air. Turn on the fog lights instead as they throw a little extra light on the road making it easier to see.
Watch out for pedestrians. An ordinarily observant pedestrian may become distracted by an umbrella. The sound of rain drops makes it difficult to hear.
If it’s raining so hard that you can’t see the road or the car in front of you, pull over and wait for the rain to subside.
Track the car ahead of you. Let the car ahead pave a clear path, through the water. This will help you avoid some possible dangers.
Give a truck or bus extra distance. Their extra-large tires can create enough spray to block your vision completely. Avoid passing one, but if you must pass, do it as quickly as safety allows.
Defog your windows. Rain will quickly cause your windshield to fog up. Switch on both front and rear defrosters and make sure the air conditioning is turned on.