Road safety is often taken lightly by drivers these days. With a speedy increase in the number of vehicles on island, and an increase in the number of vehicular accidents there is no doubt that road safety needs to become a greater priority. This is especially important on rainy days where the likelihood of being in an accident is greater. Here we offer 3 tips to the drivers out there when driving along those wet, slippery roads.
Ensure that visibility is clear
You have to be able to see: the bends, the vehicles in front and behind you, the people, animals or objects (fallen trees, rocks, potholes, etc.) in your way. The dark clouds and falling rain make this especially difficult. Ensure that your windshield and mirrors are properly cleaned; that your windshield wipers are working efficiently and all necessary lighting (brake lights, headlights, taillights, and turn signals) are functioning before you hit the road. Rain repellant products can also be used on mirrors and windows to clear standing raindrops.
Refrain from distractions
Your attention is to be placed on the road in front, behind and at your sides. Stay away from the cellphone and keep the radio off (or at least have the volume very low). You need to be aware of other vehicles, possible landslides and anything else that may be on the road. If a call must be made or received pull over on the side of the road for the duration of the call, then continue driving when you are done.
Wet roads reduce friction between your tires and the road. This causes drivers to have less control over their vehicles and also makes them more prone to skidding. Hydroplaning occurs when water builds up between the wheels and road surface. This causes a loss of traction and prevents the vehicle from responding to input controls. The faster you are driving the harder it will be to maintain traction if you begin to lose control. Remember it is better to arrive at your destination a few minutes late than to never get there at all. Even better, leave for your destination a little earlier to give yourself enough time to drive more carefully.
Here is an extra tip: seatbelts save lives, if all else fails ensure that they are properly fastened.