So the pre-monsoon rains have hit many parts of the country hard. It rained 3-4 days in Abbottabad and Islamabad regions constantly and later the rain moved all the way to Karachi, where it wreaked havoc for many Karachiites.
In this blog we will be talking about some of the tips, advice, and dos and don’ts of driving a car in the rain. Some of these tips are applicable to bike riders as well so if you own a motorcycle, keep reading.
When it rains, there are some things that are in your hands, and some are just not possible to control. For example, it is pretty common for many cities in Pakistan and especially Karachi where the water drainage system is either non-existent or just not good enough. And that means water is accumulating on the public roads and not draining soon enough. This is also a problem in plain or flat cities like Lahore where there are practically no elevation changes within the city. It rains, water collects, and has nowhere to go. Hilly areas do not have that issue. The water finds its way to streams sooner or later.
So in such situations, where there is water standing in your area, colony, town, or city, it is better to stay inside your house provided the water hasn’t flooded your house as well which is too common if we are being honest. So yes, staying at home is your best bet from your car breaking down and getting stranded in the water which is frankly more gutter water than rain water after some time.
Well staying inside is not an option for you. You have to be outside; whether it is to go buy samosay or go on a date, or just because your mom or wife has asked you to go get some dahi or rootiyan- I get it. Sometimes you just gotta be outside rather than inside. In that case, there are a few things you can do to curb the probability of having something crap happen to you.
As I mentioned above that the rain water turns to gutter water, it is also better not to take your car or bike in such condition because that dirty water is acidic and can be seriously damaging to metal as well as rubber parts of your vehicle. In case you do have to take your vehicle out in that dirty and polluted water, get your vehicle thoroughly washed especially from underneath to get rid of all the dirt and gunk that can cause some major damage in the long run if not treated properly and on time.
Staying on the topic of gutters, staying inside is also very important since you have no idea where you will find yourself a massive pothole and end up breaking the suspension of your car or bike, or worse, ending up inside that open manhole like you have seen numerous times in many viral videos online. You do not know when you are unlucky enough to be on someone’s camera and become viral yourself.
In that case, as mentioned above, ending in a dug up manhole that the council people are too lazy to fill back up is a horrible thing. So try following a car in front of you and keep a safe distance. That way you will have enough time to react in case you see the back lights of the car in front going underwater.
Talking of keeping a safe distance, keep a safe distance! Keeping a safe gap from the car in front is necessary in dry conditions but it becomes extra important in wet conditions. The braking distance increases exponentially in wet conditions. Ending up in a pile in high speed road accidents is not a joke. Have a look at the images below and keep them in mind for next time you are driving like a street racer when it’s raining.
And slow down as well. As mentioned above, the braking distance increases in wet conditions. So if the car is already fast, and it is raining and the road is wet, your chances of braking on time incase of an emergency are slim to none.
The road becomes super slick during rain if there is oil and mud on the surface. By now you guys might have already seen the bikes and cars just casually sliding and slipping around on Karachi roads. The thing is, the roads in areas where it seldom rains gather dirt and oils from old leaking buses and trucks all year round. And when it rains, it doesn’t rain long or hard enough for that dirt and oil to wash away. In fact, the water adds to the mix and the surface of the road gets layered by a dangerously super slippery stuff causing a bunch of viral moments like we saw yesterday.
Getting water in the silencer of the car is one way your car will stall and engine would stop so make sure you do not go in waters deep enough that cover your silencer port. The exhaust gases need to escape. Water in the silencer or exhaust will stop it from happening. That means the engine is stalling because it can’t breathe. You might have seen some car with black rubber pipes on the exhausts protruding outwards and upwards. That is to make sure the fumes can leave the pipe freely without water getting inside the exhaust. You can do that as well if you’d like.
Also, don’t take your cars in water so deep that you cant see the hood of the car. The engine can easily suck on the water and water in the engine cylinders is the death of the motor.
Give your tires a thorough inspection. The tires disperse water thanks to the grooves or tread. If there is no tread, or if it is not deep enough, the water won’t evacuate quickly enough and there is a chance your car will aquaplane. It is also called hydroplaning. Basically the tires lose contact with the surface of the road since they are unable to disperse water from underneath and the car starts floating on the water. As you can imagine, it is super dangerous and you will lose control of the vehicle. So when you see a puddle of water in front, better stop the kid inside you and refrain from speeding through that puddle.
So slowing down, and keeping a gap from the car in front of you is your best bet.
Hope this blog has helped you in any way. Until next time, drive safe, and wear a seatbelt.