Monsson Driving Tips. Here are 7 driving tips and secrets to help you drive better in the rain if you’re commuting or planning a long drive.
The monsoon season is approaching and although for those living in hill stations it may seem like any other day, driving a car for some during the rains can be a daunting task. Some even stop driving during the rainy season. However, you don’t have to worry about the monsoon, because here are some essential monsoon driving tips.
The most important thing to remember when driving on wet roads is patience! Slow down in turns, on open roads, and be gentle with the throttle and brakes. Traction is considerably less on wet roads during monsoon compared to dry conditions. In addition, the road temperatures will be low and the tires will take time to heat up, and even when they do, they will lose them quickly.
When navigating winding roads, drive slower than normal as the tires will lose grip on bends. Also, if you have to tackle twisty roads in a downhill section, leave the vehicle in a lower gear and use engine compression to help keep the vehicle in a steady pace. Follow the same procedure for open roads, as slowing down or stopping takes longer than on dry surfaces.
Let the nannies
Modern cars are equipped with a host of electronics, including hill traction control, ESP, ABS, hill descent control, automatic wipers and more than can be disabled. Although it is tempting to turn them off for spirited driving, leave them on during the rainy season as they will help you keep the vehicle under control at all times.
Tires play an important role in all weather conditions, especially during the monsoon. Make sure your tires are in good condition. Have them aligned and balanced, check their tread for uneven wear (which could be a suspension issue), and get the pressure right. Overinflated tires will give you poor traction, so keep them tight.
Make sure the defogger is working
Often the first complaint of most inexperienced monsoon drivers is the problem of windshield fogging. This makes driving difficult, but there is a simple solution that many are unaware of. In the vehicle’s climate settings, turn on the air conditioner, set it to an appropriate temperature, and select the defog mode.
This directs the air to the front windshield and clears it. Most cars also have the same feature for the rear window – keep that on as well, as it will keep you up to date with what’s going on behind you.
Keep your headlights on
Keep them on and on low beam. Most modern cars have DRLs, which help spot oncoming vehicles better. Rain and mist can significantly reduce visibility and leaving the DRLs or headlights of older vehicles on will help oncoming vehicles notice you better.
And always remember to keep your headlights on dipped beam as this can blind the driver in front and cause an accident. Also, when driving in fog, high beams significantly reduce your visibility as light tends to scatter in such conditions. Bright lights aren’t the answer to better visibility, well-focused lights are, so have them aligned and focused at a dealership.
Check all electrical appliances before monsoon
It is good practice to prepare your vehicle for the monsoon in advance. Check all electrical items such as the air conditioning system, power windows, turn signals, headlights and taillights, brake lights, hazard lights, charging sockets, faulty lamps on the dashboard, speedometer, fuel gauge, windshield wipers, mirror adjusters, etc.
While all of the points mentioned above are important, one stands out – talk to older/experienced drivers, take advice and practice. Some drivers live in areas that receive heavy rain throughout the year and they are familiar with these situations. Some even reportedly learned lessons the hard way, so take their advice.