Driving safely in the rain - Weekend

Driving safely in the rain

Jerome NeriAtty. Jerome G. Neri
The Scrutineer

THE rainy season is here and it is time to make sure that your car is ready for the rainy season.

First is to check your tires. The treads of your tires are there to dissipate the water thereby keeping the rubber in contact with the pavement. Tires have markers in between the treads. Once these markers are level with the treads, it is time to replace your tires. If you do not know where these markers are, consult your tire dealer for a check. Remember that the wear limit of tires are way before it gets bald.

Another important thing is that the tires are properly inflated. Always follow the tire pressure recommendation of the car manufacturer. Usually, you can find the recommended pressure in a decal at the side of the door, or consult the owner’s manual of your car. Having the correct tire pressure is important, most especially in the rain because this is where the tire will be most efficient in dissipating the water, reducing the risk of hydroplaning.

Every rainy season, I make it a habit to slap on brand new wiper blades. Wiper blades are a part of the car that are exposed to the elements. So even if it has not been really used much, it can and will get damaged by just sitting there. New wiper blades are a big help especially during a light drizzle. Wornout ones oftentimes make visibility worse. Next would be to treat your windshield. These treatments can be found in car accessory shops and hardware stores such as True Value and Ace Hardware.

The rains are back. (SUN.STAR FILE)
The rains are back. (SUN.STAR FILE)

Most known brand is Rain X. The advantage you get from windshield treatment is that it prevents fogging and dirt does not stick to the windshield making it easier for the wiper to wipe it off.

Now if you have a new or relatively new car, or a car that has just been painted or the finish is still good, I would also suggest the you do steps to protect the paint in the rainy season. There are shops and detailing companies that offer Nona Ceramic paint protection. This is a paint sealant that is hydrophobic, meaning it naturally repels water. The coating is also harder than paint, making your paint scratch resistant.

The Nano Ceramic coating will make your car finish go through the rainy season without it getting damaged. It is a good investment as the quality of the finish of your car plays a big role in determining the value of your car.

Here are some reminders when driving in the rain:

The most common mistake of motorists while driving in heavy rain is turning on their hazard light or blinkers. The purpose of the hazard light is to tell other motorists that you are a hazard on the road as your car has stalled and other motorists can take the appropriate evasive action. If you want to be visible to other motorists because of very heavy rain, then turn on your lights. You will be visible to all other motorists around you in a safer way.

Now when driving in heavy rain, always slow down when there are puddles. The problem with puddles apart from being able to accidentally splash water on a pedestrian or motorcyclist is that you have absolutely no idea what is beneath the puddle. It might be a big pothole. Going through it slowly greatly reduces the risk of accidentally damaging your car.

Floods are also common. The best thing to do is to avoid them. Do not drive into a flood unless you really have to. Flood is dirty water and you do not want these dirt to find its way into your brakes, axles, gearbox, shock absorbers, etc. But if you have to, make sure the flood is not deeper than half of your tire, otherwise you run the risk of stalling the car and be in deeper trouble. Remember that more often than not, the middle part of the road is usually the shallowest part and therefore navigate there.

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