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Driving in the rain can be scary, but that doesn't have to be the case. Here are seven crucial tips to make driving in the rain a stress-free activity.
Category: Car Ownership Advice
Lately it seems like Singapore's weather is controlled by a toggle switch between 'extremely hot' and 'heavy downpour'. While the rain spells may provide some much needed relief to the excruciatingly high temperature we are exposed to almost daily, it makes driving much more stress-inducing than it already is.
With these pointers, you can be certain that driving in the rain is not as nerve-wrecking as you would imagine.
1. What is aquaplaning and how to prevent it
Aqua what? Aquaplaning, you may recall this word from your driving lessons. It happens when water builds up between the road and your vehicle's tyres, it results in a temporary severe loss of traction, and your vehicle will barely respond to steering input. You can think of it as the tyres floating above that thin layer of water on the surface of the road.
To prevent it from happening, it is important to understand that we have to maximise the ability for the tyres to cut through water. For starters, having tyres with ample tread depth would greatly reduce the likelihood for aquaplane to occur, as the deep grooves are able to displace the water effectively. By driving at a slower speed and avoiding puddles and standing water which tend to accumulate on the extreme lane of the road, you will also be able to greatly reduce the tendency for aquaplaning to occur.
2. How to react when your car aquaplanes
When your car aquaplanes, the steering will feel 'light', your engine's RPM may suddenly increase (much like stepping on the clutch while you are accelerating), and your car may feel 'floaty' and unstable as well. Even though your instincts may tell you to slam on the brakes and slow the car down immediately, that is the exact opposite of what you should do.
Any sudden steering input or harsh braking will definitely end up with you facing the wrong side of the road or even wrecking your car. That's why you need to suppress that nagging urge to overreact. What you should do instead, is to avoid any sudden, excessive braking or steering input, which will upset your car's balance and cause you to lose control. You should keep your steering steady, towards the direction you want the car to go and gradually release your accelerator to allow the car to regain traction. If you have to brake, take note to regulate your braking and prepare for any instability.