How to Stay Safe When Driving in Heavy Rains

October seems to have stricken a deal with the gods of rain in Kenya. With the increase in amount and duration of rainfall throughout the rain, we thought it important to offer you some tips on how to stay safe on the roads. Unless the rains are extremely heavy, you might have to drive through in order to get to where you need to be. If this is the case then consider exercising the following tips.

Slow down

Almost 50% of car accidents happen because of poor visibility caused by heavy downpour. The rains may start falling sporadically during your drive and you might have already set a specific amount of speed to cover the distance. It is highly advisable to reduce this speed to be between 40 and 60 kilometres per hour. The slower you go, the easier it is to brake and stop, therefore reducing the chances of fatal accidents.

Increase following distance

It is common for drivers to follow each other closely especially in heavy traffic. However, when the rains are pouring heavily, you are better keeping some distance of up to 2 meters between you and the car ahead. This extra distance will help you avoid hitting the car ahead of you in case you need to apply emergency brakes. It also gives you space to swerve and avoid danger if the car ahead of you is the source of confusion.

Make sure your windscreen is clear

The car windscreen tends to fog quickly when the internal temperatures suddenly change. The controls at the car’s front help with clearing the mist. Make sure to set the controls before driving so that you don’t have to multitask. All your attention should be on the road.

Put on your car lights

The heavy rainfall can cause a heavy curtain blurring your vision and that of other drivers. In such cases, put on your car lights in the dim settings. This way you can easily tell the location of the car ahead of you, and other drivers can see you too.

Get rid of distractions

When driving in heavy rains, get rid of all distractions. That means eliminating loud music, phone calls and other activities. You can always have your radio on in low volume so as to catch any updates or warnings. Otherwise, make sure you have all your mind and senses focused on the road for a safer transition.

If too heavy, stop and wait

Unless it is a life and death emergency, when the roads get too muddy, slippery or hard to see, try and get somewhere like a gas station or hotel and stop. Cars can easily get carried off by flash floods. If you get stuck in a swept car, your life faces grave danger. Therefore, when it gets too difficult for you, just stop and wait for the rains to pass. You can always reschedule plans but you cannot replace life.