FEATURE 05 January 2010

Driving in the Rain - Safe Tips

Losing control of your car in the wet is a frightening situation that may land you in a soup. Drive slowly and carefully to prevent skids. Steer and brake with a light touch on curves. If you want to stop, make sure that you do not brake hard or lock up the wheels, lest you end up skidding. Even if you do lose control and end up skidding, do not panic as it will only add to the trouble. Stay calm, ease your foot off the accelerator pedal and steer the car carefully in the direction you want the front of the car to go. If your car is equipped with ABS then modulate the brakes as you steer the car.

Aquaplaning is another severe predicament that occurs when the water under your tires cannot drain through the tires' grooves fast enough. The water pressure causes the car to slide on a thin layer of water between the tires and the road surface. At this point, your car is completely out of contact with the road, and you are in danger of skidding or drifting out of your lane, or even off the road because the car will not steer, brake or accelerate. To avoid getting yourself in such a situation, keep your tires properly inflated, maintain enough tread depth on your tires and replace them when necessary.

Slow down when on wet roads, and stay away from puddles. Try to drive in the tire tracks left by the cars in front of you. Avoid stomping on the brakes or turning suddenly. This could throw your car into a slide. Ease off the gas pedal until the car slows down and you can feel the road again. If you need to brake, do it gently with light pumping actions. If your car employs ABS, use the brakes as you normally do, the ABS will take care of the rest.

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