7 Pro tips for driving in the rain

Be prepared for the wet season
by Paulo Rafael Subido | Jul 18, 2018

Rainy season is upon us, and we want to make sure that everyone is safe when driving under the deluge. Here are few more no-nonsense tips that will surely come in handy. 

1) Dry the soles of your shoes

Slippery soles can slide over the car’s pedals, and that one slip can lead to an accident. If you’ve been walking around in the rain, dry the soles of your shoes by rubbing them on the carpet before even driving off. If you have some tissue or some old newspaper handy, even better. Losing control because of your foot slipping off the surface of the gas, brake, or clutch pedal, is pretty scary. On the racetrack, a rainy day is treated with added respect. Your crew will wipe your shoes for you even before you step into the car, just to be sure you don’t mess up your heel-and-toe maneuvers because of wet soles.

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2) Wipe the water beads from side mirrors

Drivers often take this for granted. In their hurry to get moving, they realize too late that they can’t see anything on the sideview mirrors. If the car has been parked under the rain for a long time, the water beads that form on the mirror’s surface can render the mirror useless. Modern cars have heated mirrors, but not all of have cars with that luxury. A quick wipe with your fingers (or a clean cloth) can go a long way in ensuring you can see everything around you. And when it is raining, having full vision is even more important.

3) Don’t freeze inside

On a rainy day ambient temperatures are much lower. Your air-conditioner doesn’t have to work as hard. If your car is fitted with automatic climate control, that’s great. But if you are still using a manual adjustment temperature and fan control, you can raise the temperature a bit so that the cabin doesn’t turn into an icebox.

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4) Use your park lights 

Or even your headlights. This is all the added visibility that you need—even during a heavy downpour. Don’t use your hazards, please.

5) Brake earlier, drive smoother

Because of the lessened visibility and the slippery road surface, you need to drive smoother and be more gentle with your steering, acceleration, and braking input. This is not the time to prove that you are the rain master. Worth noting is that the road is most slippery upon the immediate onset of the rain. This is because the road grime and oil residue still hasn’t been washed away from its surface. Be extra careful during those first few moments of rainfall.

6) Don’t tailgate

This is not advisable in any weather condition, but even more so when it is raining. Apart from giving more space for you to react, driving too close to the vehicle ahead will foul up your car’s windshield because of road spray kicked up by the wheels. This is the gunk that makes the windshield oily. Keep a safe distance and you won’t have to keep using the windshield washer.

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7) Top-up the washer fluid reservoir

Remember that road spray? Nothing is worse than not being able to wash this off. So, make sure the washer fluid reservoir never goes empty. Some people like to use a dedicated washer fluid, but we prefer plain old water. 

PHOTO: Aleksandar Andric/freeimages.com
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