Driving in the rain – anything worth knowing?
It is immediately apparent that the weather is feminine. Uncle weather forecasters are trying their best to predict her, but she does what she wants and does. How odd!
The only thing that a person has not learned to influence radically is the weather. Perhaps in the future, we will find a way to alleviate hurricanes, take tsunamis on a short leash, control earthquakes and direct the wind in the direction we want. In the meantime, a simple rain can make serious adjustments to our plans, and morning fog can ruin the mood and the planned trip.
The main enemies of any driver are rain and fog. We may be dissatisfied with the policy of the heavenly office. Still, in case of any troubles associated with aggressive weather manifestations, we will only have to ourselves so that the road drenched in the rain or shrouded in the fog does not bring you trouble; follow pretty simple rules.
Dancing in the rain
As soon as the asphalt begins to darken from the first drops of rain, we, while driving a car, start to mentally recall all the obscene words that can be addressed to this natural phenomenon. It is not for nothing that the rainy weather is called bad – but what good is it about the rushing streams of water falling down the windshield and splashing out from under the vehicle’s wheels in front?
During rain, it is imperative to reduce the speed is clear to everyone because the adhesion of the wheels to the roadway is significantly reduced, and visibility is impaired substantially. And do not argue about which is more dangerous, because we always risk the same. The coefficient of adhesion of wheels to the road during rain decreases by 1.5-2 times, which increases the braking distance and worsens the machine’s stability. Hazardous are asphalt roads, which are covered with opal leaves or mud.
Rain also changes the appearance of the road. If the road surface is dull and light in a dry state, then during the rain, it turns into a dark and shiny mirror, on which it is challenging to notice a dark obstacle.
Driving on such a road is very tiring for the driver, who may think that he is rapidly rushing towards a gloomy abyss, accompanied by a small fraction of rain flashing in the headlights and tapping on the surface of the car such rhythms that the best DJs in the world never dreamed of.
Pro-bro-tip: Turn your caution knob to the “maximum” position if rain catches you on the part of the road where asphalt was recently laid. In this case, you need to forget about the brakes and be guided by the knowledge you gained while driving on ice. The thing is that wet, freshly laid asphalt resembles frost in its characteristics, and the car behaves accordingly on such a surface.
The rain has just begun and is perilous: it makes the road slippery because the smallest particles of rubber from car tyres, dust, oil and soot from the exhaust pipes are moistened and become components of a slippery “soap” film. Therefore, getting into a strip of just started rain, you should smoothly reduce the car’s speed without making sudden brakes and manoeuvres. After some time has passed, the rain will wash away the dangerous dust and mud film, and driving on a wet road will become much safer naturally if your car’s tyres do not shine with a bald spot.
A slight drizzle and a rainstorm are two different stories. Water covers the road surface in a continuous layer during heavy rain, and the car begins to lose traction. This is called aquaplaning, which means that the wheels do not have time to squeeze the water out from under them, so a so-called water wedge forms under them.
Aquaplaning is relatively easy to feel: the steering wheel starts spinning very quickly. In this case, it is necessary to smoothly reduce the speed without using the brake and continue on your way after the wheels push through the layer of water, and the grip on the road becomes better.
Pro-tip: You don’t necessarily have to buy the most expensive tyres even if you own a SUV. You can also opt for the best budget SUV tyres.
Another insidious factor to consider when driving in the rain is puddles.
It is not recommended to drive through a section of road with puddles at high speed for several reasons:
- you can shower pedestrians passing nearby;
- dirty water will spill onto your car’s windshield, impairing visibility;
- water can get under the hood and turn off the engine;
- pits can be hidden underwater;
- wet brake pads can let you down at a crucial moment;
- The grip of wheels caught in a puddle on one side will be much worse than the wheels’ grip on the other side of the car, which is fraught with serious skidding.
Pro-tip: After driving through a deep puddle, lightly press the brake several times to dry the pads because water that gets on the brake pads and drums dramatically reduce braking performance.