Motoring News

Here comes the rain: Take some advice on Highveld storms

WHILE the Western Cape is coming to the end of its ”rainy” winter season and will from now on be curbing water use in a bid to avoid the catastrophes of recent summers the Highveld is due to take its share of the nation’s annual rainfall.

Which, after the dry winter upcountry, means vehicle owners ”up north” need to runs some checks and perhaps do some maintenance to accommodate the coming wet weather and the Highveld thunderstorms.

MD of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert, has some words of advice, heartily endorsed by The Corner.

NO HARSH BRAKING

First, the roads have over the winter absorbed lots of rubber and oil which has not been flushed by rain. When the rain does come that combination is going to mean some very slippery road surfaces – particularly on freeways. The answer to which is, of course, take it easy out there!

Herbert advises: ”Don’t brake harshly and suddenly. Keep both hands on the steering-wheel. Look where you want to be. While this may seem counter-intuitive, our instinct is to steer in the direction in which we are looking. Thus, if there is tree in front of you, don’t look at the tree, rather look at where you want to be.”

…AND SOME SIMPLY RULES TO APPLY

There are other simple tips which Herbert and The Corner suggest you act upon to drive safe on wet roads…

  • Check your wiper blades to ensure that they have not weathered over winter.
  • Give yourself more travel time so you do not have to rush in bad weather.Adjust your speed to suit the conditions but don’t drive unnecessarily slowly – that, too, can be dangerous.
  • Do NOT use cruise control.Turn on your headlights.Brake earlier and with more caution and leave more space  between your car and the vehicle ahead.
  • Avoid water which has pooled on the road. If you cannot then drive through it slowly in case of hidden debris or potholes.
  • If you DO start to hydroplane (slide on a layer of water beneath your tyres) slowly lift your foot off the accelerator but do not brake harshly or move your steering-wheel violently.
  • Consider going for driver training on a skip pan to learn how to react if you do lose control during rainy weather.

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