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Survival Kit: 13 Tips for Driving in Heavy Rain

Many parts of South Africa are feeling the full effects of Winter, with torrential downpours wreaking havoc on our roads in July.  After...

Many parts of South Africa are feeling the full effects of Winter, with torrential downpours wreaking havoc on our roads in July. 

After a blazing summer that saw especially crops and animals succumb to the heat, the much-needed water is not unwelcome. 

However, though the rain is appreciated and accepted, certain areas, such as KwaZulu-Natal are experiencing severe flooding and motorists are not hesitant to wade through the water.
Driving in Heavy Rain is not Encouraged 

Driving through water can be incredibly dangerous and cause serious damage to your vehicle.

13 tips for driving in the rain:
  1. Always turn on your vehicle’s headlights in wet weather. 
  2. In heavy rain use the brighter (rear fog lights) setting for your car’s tail lights. 
  3. Make sure your wiper blades are in good condition and do a clean sweep. 
  4. Do not allow the inside of your car's windows to mist up. Switch on front and rear screen demisters and your air-con - yes, an air-con dries the air and removes mist almost instantly.
  5. Check your tyre tread: the legal minimum is 1mm but for safety's sake make sure it's treble that.
  6. Worn shock-absorbers don't keep the rubber hard down on the road; no road contact = no ABS, no grip and very little braking.
  7. Cloudy and rain = poor visibility. Take extra care when overtaking - and remember not all drivers coming towards you will have their headlights on.
  8. Adjust speed and following distance; at least six seconds to the car ahead. Ensure you can stop within the visible area ahead. 
  9. Avoid abrupt acceleration, braking and steering which can result in a skid.
  10. Don't drive through deep water. It could damage your car and possibly cost you your life.
The dangers of rapid, flowing water on our roads: 
  • Flowing water applies pressure to contact areas. The higher the speed the higher the pressure.
  • With water that is 1m high it will flow out at a speed of 4.47 meters per second or 16km/h.
  • Water that has fallen only 0.4m reaches a speed of 3.2km/h and can sweep a car off a road bridge.
  • When water touches the underside of a vehicle, depending on the strength of the flow, it can lift a vehicle and even carry it away.
  • A water depth of only 0.6m can float a car.
Tyres vs. standing water

Check the condition of your tyres: Complete loss of adhesion to the road’s surface can come from a combination of smooth tyres and high speed. This causes aqua-planing, with possibly tragic consequences.

Even with new or barely worn tyres, reduce your speed in the wet and increase the following distance to the vehicle ahead of you.

The tyre’s tread displaces water to provide the grip on the road. Smooth tyres’ wet-road grip decreases dramatically as speed increases. 

The stopping distance required will also increase as the tread pattern wears down. At 120km/h, in wet weather, the road grip of a new tyre can drop to 80%, while that of an almost smooth tyre plummets to 10%. - Daily Sun 

Tinzwei Is A Worth Voyage For Those In Pursuit For Up-To-Date World Events.

Read More At The Online Coronavirus Portal Or Use The 24-Hour Public Hotline:
South Africa: 0800 029 999 or just Send Hie to 0600 123 456 on WhatsApp

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