The monsoon season in Singapore has started since late November and according to the Meteorological Service Singapore (MSS), we'll be experiencing thundery showers for the next few days. Heavy rain makes driving conditions hazardous and treacherous. Here are some rules (in no particular order) to keep you safe when driving in wet weather conditions!
1. 9-second rule
When driving on wet roads, you should maintain a safe following distance. Ensure that there are 9 seconds between your car and the vehicle ahead of you. This gives you ample distance and time to react to any situation that is happening in front. There will be drivers who feel annoyed with you for leaving such a huge gap. Don't bother. It concerns your life and safety.
2. Avoid hard braking.
Don't hit on your brakes too hard. It'll cause your car to slide forward and you'll lose control of your car. Furthermore, slamming on the brakes will force water into your brakes and you'll end up with less effective brakes. You should brake slowly by pressing your foot on the brake pedal and then ease your foot off.
3. Make turns at slower speed.
Making turns too quickly on a wet road can cause your car to hydroplane and this is a very dangerous driving hazard! Before you make a turn, remember to signal and slow down your speed earlier than you would in good weather conditions. As a general rule of thumb, reduce the speed of your turns by approximately one-third when driving in heavy rain. In the event your car hydroplanes, always keep calm and avoid turning your steering wheel. Then, slowly lift your foot off the accelerator and press your foot gently on the brake pedal.
4. Keep to the middle lanes.
(Photo Credit: Kia BUZZ)
Water tends to accumulate at the side of the road and these puddles of water can cause your car to hydroplane. To avoid losing control of your steering and braking, try to drive on the middle lanes whenever possible.
5. Ensure your tyres are safe for driving.
It's extremely hazardous to drive on the road with bald tyres. Without tyre treads, your tyres lose the right traction and the ability to grip on the road. It is highly likely that your car will hydroplane. If you happen to encounter hydroplaning, stay calm like any emergency situation. Always remember - don't slam on the brakes!
See also: 7 top reasons why your tyres blowout
6. Turn on your headlights.
Turn on your headlights immediately when it begins raining, even in the day. Not only do headlights allow you to see the road better, but also for other drivers to see your car. Ensure that your headlights are clean and clear. If your headlights are dirty and foggy, simply smear some regular toothpaste on them and you can increase your visibility on the road.
7. Drive only if necessary.
If your journey is not that important or essential, postpone it until the heavy rain has subsided. It's better to stay indoors at home rather than take the risks of getting stuck in a jam or worse still, an accident. Get the latest updates on weather forecast here.
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