Kolawole Ajayi: Driving During the Rainy Season

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Rainy seasons come with a lot of complications on the road, either for the pedestrians trying to find a way around/better footing in a waterlogged part of a road, or for the drivers trying for a clearer vision in order not to hit a fellow driver or a pedestrian.

Rainy seasons are generally the period where faults left undone or forgotten in vehicles tend to have a bigger impact. For instance, a squeaky windshield wiper left undone during dry season will be highly needed in rainy season. Worn out tyres that were managed during the dry season will need to be changed during the rainy season. The air conditioner not needed in the dry season will be needed in the rainy season, etc.

Hence, the rainy season is a season when it is expected that vehicles be in good shape, and drivers be of good behaviour, in order to have a safe driving experience all through. It is a known fact that crashes occur easily and traffic congestions tend to be longer during rainy seasons. So for all these ills associated with the rainy season to be avoided, the tips below are to be strictly followed.

Leave earlier
Rainy seasons are known for wet roads, slow driving, longer traffic congestion, crashes and haziness, hence the inability to navigate smoothly and swiftly on highways. So for you not to be delayed, try to leave earlier than you normally would. This helps, because there will be lesser vehicles on the road, and this will surely lead to less pressure on you while you drive.

Also, when you leave earlier, you are mostly saved from probable crashes caused by drivers who do not navigate well in rainy season.

Leave only when you and your vehicle are in good shape
It is a different ball game when planning to leave earlier with a faulty car. You may feel leaving earlier might lessen the complications that come with driving a faulty car in a congested area during the rainy season, but your safety, especially in a possible lone crash, is not guaranteed. I will advise you only leave earlier with a stable vehicle.

Check for worn out tyres and replace them, change squeaky wipers and faulty brakes, leaky air conditioners should be fixed or refilled, bad lights fixed, and proper general maintenance should also be carried out. And after you have done the basics needed on your vehicle, check out for yourself. Ask yourself if you are in a good frame of mind to drive. Is your vision clear, and can it withstand the pressure of driving during rainfall? If your answer is yes, then you are good to go.

Drive only on roads you are familiar with
Though the above is applicable on all seasons, I can specifically say it is highly needed during rainy seasons. From my point of view, driving on an unknown road or path during the rainy season can be likened to a suicide mission. This is so because the tendency of getting involved in a crash on an unknown road in the rainy season is higher. Also, Nigeria roads are known for potholes, hence room for logged water in particular parts of the road. There’s also the free flow of flood on our roads. This will obviously deceive those who don’t know much about the road, leading to driving on a wrong path.

Drive slowly
Driving in the rainy season can sometimes be tricky, especially when trying to avoid potholes and at the same time not to splash water on a pedestrian. You may have the belief that you have perfectly executed this, but a little increase in your speed in water can lead to a splash on any pedestrian. To avoid any embarrassment, drive slowly. To avoid hydroplaning, which occurs when a vehicles’ tyres have no contact with the road and thereby affect the smooth sailing of the vehicle, drive slowly. To avoid the general impact sharp objects on the road as a result of flooding would have on your tyres, drive slowly. The same right of way you have as a driver is the same with that of any pedestrian. Look out for pedestrians, look out for motorcyclists, tricyclists and other road users.

Avoid driving at night
Night driving comes with its own complications, and it gets more complicated when it involves rainfall. It is also known that drivers generally either put their full lights or danger lights on during the rainy season, and, to be candid, these acts sometimes confuse fellow road users.

A driver with full lights on will most likely have its rays affecting other road users, while those with parking lights will confuse fellow road users what turn a driver is making. All these, and many more, directly encourage crashes when driving at night during the rainy season.

The rainy season comes with its blessings and otherwise, so for us to enjoy its blessings, we are to avoid its dangers by applying the above detailed tips. There are many ways to avoid crashes during the rainy season, but if the tips are strictly followed, your chances of avoiding a crash during the rainy season is high. Drive to see another rainy season in good health. Drive safe.





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