How to drive in a rain
Does the thought of driving in a storm scare you? At Omega Driving School our goal is to make you a safe and responsible driver. Today we will teach you how to face extreme conditions behind the wheel, don’t miss it!
When we are going to drive under a thunderstorm, a hailstorm or just a strong storm, we are referring to driving under extreme conditions; a type of driving that requires some special considerations.
In general, it is always best to avoid driving under these circumstances. That is, do not take the wheel in extreme conditions or pull over to the side of the road if the conditions occur when you are already on the road.
However, sometimes it is necessary. Emergencies can occur at the same time as unfavorable weather, and it is precisely for these cases that we have created a list of special recommendations necessary for your training.
Below is the definitive guide on how to act when faced with a blustery road, by our Quebec Road Safety Training Program.
Keep your vehicle prepared for driving in a storm
You should perform basic checks on your car before you leave. In theory, this is something you should do every time you are going to drive, but we don’t always have the time in our daily routine.
However, if you are driving in a thunderstorm, you will have to react quickly – your vehicle cannot be neglected!
If you feel that a single important part of the vehicle is not working as it should, don’t hesitate, refrain from taking that risk.
Before venturing onto a dangerous road, you should check:
- Full gas tank.
- Oil levels
- Antifreeze levels
- Windshield wipers
- Strobe lights
- Headlights and taillights
- Emergency kit and spare tire
Understand the conditions for driving in a storm.
Before you hit the road in a storm, try to make sure you know the possible conditions you will face so you are 100% alert and well prepared.
Remember that conditions are set by location and time of year. However, in general, the weather and scenarios that may present themselves in unfavorable conditions are:
- Light to heavy rain.
- Thunder and lightning.
- Strong wind
Another scenario that you should keep in mind and that we did not include before, because it is rather presented as a corollary to the previous list, are the streets. On the road you may encounter:
- Poor visibility
- Reduced traction
What to do in these cases? Here are some general recommendations:
- Try not to go over 70km/h.
- Keep about five vehicles away from the car in front of you.
- Have your hazard lights on so that vehicles behind you can see you better.
- Do not turn on the air conditioning; it prevents condensation.
- Reduce your speed in case of any abnormality on the road.
Beware of the Aquaplaning effect -we will deal with this topic in depth later on-.
We invite you to read our article on how-to drive-in fog to complement the content of this information.
How to deal with the impasses when driving in a thunderstorm
When driving in adverse conditions there are a couple of situations that could leave you stuck. Some of these conditions are:
When going through a puddle at a considerable speed, the tire loses contact with the ground and this can result in you losing control of the vehicle.
If you end up stuck in the mud and the vehicle cannot move, do not despair, because you will only choke the engine. Gradually increase and decrease your speed until you find the point that will help you get out.
Never take chances with hail. We are literally talking about a hail of stones. The best thing to do is to find a sturdy roof and park under it.
General recommendations for driving in a storm
In addition to the basic safety rules for driving, here are some other tips that will be very helpful.
Contact a friend
Let someone who has the means to help you know before you leave. Tell them where you are, where you are going and which road you are going to take.
Watch your weight
The more passengers you carry, the slower you will have to go. Wet roads reduce braking capacity and the more weight you carry, the more difficult it will be to slow down.
Watch out for downhill slopes
Downhill slopes with slippery ground are a big threat. Do not hesitate to slow down as much as possible. The slower you go the better.
To face a storm behind the wheel you must have a firm roof over your head. Convertibles are not suitable for this feat.
We hope these recommendations have helped you and that now you feel a little more confident to face a stormy road.
At Omega Driving School our priority is to train prudent, safe and responsible drivers.
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