What to do in heavy rain

2016-10-05 06:00
Photo: supplied Be cautions when driving in wet weather.

Photo: supplied Be cautions when driving in wet weather.

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MANY parts of South Africa are feeling the full effects of winter, with torrential downpours wreaking havoc on our roads.

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

However, although the rain is appreciated, certain areas, such as KwaZulu-Natal are experiencing severe flooding and motorists are not hesitant to wade through the water.

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

Tips for driving in the rain:

• Always turn on the vehicle’s headlights in wet weather.

• In heavy rain use the brighter (rear fog lights) setting for your car’s tail lights.

• Make sure your wiper blades are in good condition and do a clean sweep.

• Do not allow the inside of your car’s windows to mist up. Switch on front and rear screen demisters and your air con because an air con dries the air and removes mist almost instantly.

• Check your tyre tread - the legal minimum is 1mm, but for safety sake make sure it’s treble that.

• Worn shock absorbers don’t keep the rubber hard down on the road; no road contact equals no ABS, no grip and very little braking.

• Cloudy and rain equals poor visibility. Take extra care when overtaking - and remember not all drivers coming towards you will have their headlights on.

• Adjust speed and following distance - at least six seconds to the car ahead. Ensure you can stop within the visible area ahead.

• Avoid abrupt acceleration, braking and steering which can result in a skid.

• Don’t drive through deep water. It could damage your car and possibly cost you your life.

• If you have no option but to drive through such water, then drive slowly in a low gear, holding the steering wheel steady.

• After driving in heavy rain allow your brakes to dry - especially if your vehicle has drum brakes.

• If you experience car or bike trouble turn on your hazard lights and try to move completely off the road. If possible ensure that you have a reflective warning triangle to put behind your vehicle.

- Wheels24.

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