The monsoons are here, and the experts think the rain gods are going to shower us with plenty of love this year. Everyone loves snuggling up with a cup of hot chai and pakodas as the rains gently patter on the leaves outside! It’s what poetry is made of.
…Right until you take out your car in the rains. Because there’s nothing poetic about bad roads, poor visibility and traffic jams.
Although it is best to avoid venturing out during first few spells of monsoon – because it takes some time for the municipal drains to clear out – we know that staying indoors and waiting for the world to change isn’t always an option. So here are few useful tips to prevent vehicle damage and accidents as you navigate through the rains:
- Your regular routes may by prone to flooding. Tune into your radio, call a friend who lives in the area, or even check Google maps and social media for alerts before you leave.
- Is your vehicle parked in a low-lying locality well-known for water logging while you are away? Maybe a friend of yours can do a quick check or move it to a safer location.
- In a hurry to reach home? There may be someone who is struggling to see through the rain on the roads. Be wary of poor visibility, and just leave those hazard warning lights ON to caution others.
- Water accumulates more towards the shoulder of the road, so try to drive in the center.
- On wet roads, the stopping distance multiplies two-fold. Maintain a 5-second or 20m bumper-to-bumper gap from the vehicle ahead, based on your speed.
- Water, mud and insects block clear vision of the road. Apply products like wind-shield wax, which is available online as well as with most car dealers.
- When stuck in a flood, the pressure created by water around your car will make it difficult to open the doors. To break out through the wind-shield, you can remove the front seat’s head-rest. For the cautious driver, there are glass cutters/ hammers available online at cheap rates.
- A Hydrolock, or water entering the engine and causing it to seize, is one among the main reasons why vehicles break down on the road. To avoid this, drive at a low and constant speed in 1st or 2nd gear by using half-clutch and prevent water entry through your air intake. While you are idle, keep revving!
- If none of these tips worked, don’t worry! As long as you have a fully charged phone with emergency numbers handy, you’ve got nothing to fear.