Road safety tips for coming monsoons
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In the Indian season-cycle, Monsoon comes as an immense relief after 3-4 months of scorching summer, with its hot waves and high temperature leaving everything dry and sweaty. Therefore, monsoon is much-awaited and considered as one of the most pleasant seasons of India, throughout the country. However, extra safety is required during this season, especially on roads, to avoid any inconvenience. Safety on roads during monsoon mainly refers to special checks on the vehicle's maintenance and careful driving. Castrol has given few tips to enhance the safety of drivers on roads during this season.
The prime thing to remember is to get the vehicle scrutinised by an expert mechanic before the monsoon begins. A thorough check of parts like batteries, tyres, headlights & signal lights, electrical wiring, brake fluid and engine fluids should be done. In case of cars, the windshield spray should be used to wipe the windscreen for unhampered visibility. Also, the windshield wiper fluid bottle should be always kept full as windshield can become dirty after rain. Headlights should be always turned on (at low beam), and not only in dark, foggy or overcast conditions. This helps in both the ways, it facilitates a better view of the road and also allows other drivers to see one's vehicle.
One should ideally drive by following the vehicle ahead while keeping a persistent watch on its brake lights and maintaining a safe distance. This will help the driver to see even in poor visibility conditions and additionally, would warn in advance about any potholes ahead, which may not be visible otherwise as they usually get covered with rainwater. During monsoons the roads become slippery and vehicles take more time to stop in comparison to normal season. So, to avoid collision, one should make sure to maintain a safe distance, twice the space maintained in dry weather conditions.
Hydroplaning/aquaplaning is a common monsoon phenomenon which occurs when a thin film of water builds up between the road surface and the wheels. This creates inconvenience as in such a case, the vehicle stops responding to its control inputs. To avoid such a situation, one should keep the tyre pressure well-checked and drive slowly, maintaining safe distance. Proper alignment of wheels is necessary to get proper braking as improper alignment can increase the braking distance by at least 15%. It is essential to be acquainted with the vehicle's heating, ventilation and air conditioning system and one should also know how to defog the vehicle's windows. Distractions should be avoided while driving.
One should always be mentally ready to deal with any emergency situation and should have contingency plans as back up. A tool like A hammer or spanner can be kept inside the car (not in the storage compartment) to break the glass, if one accidentally gets trapped inside.
Prevention is better than cure, so, one should keep regular updates about the weather conditions; in case the normal route is flooded with water then, it is wise to follow an alternate route. And, an umbrella and rain coat should be always kept in the car for a situation when one might need to step out of the car. Do not be negligent and drive with extra care; always remember that someone is waiting at home for you.
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