Bad weather can cause errors and distractions while driving
AEMET warns of the storm Denise and the bad weather that will last these days. Rain is the most common winter meteorological phenomenon in Spain, and when water is the protagonist, the risk of an accident increases by up to 70% according to several studies collected by the DGT.
It is necessary if it rains while we are driving
use intersection lightsincrease the speed of the wipers when overtaking, increase the safety distance and turn on the heating to prevent the windows from misting up.
In addition, before driving, we must make sure that the tires are in good condition by checking the wear of the main grooves of the tread.
When we go into aquaplanin, the tires can’t expel the water from the surface
due to wear, low pressure or too high a speed-, we must hold the steering wheel firmly, not brake hard and when we notice that we have regained grip, we carefully correct the course.
In addition to these general considerations, the experts also remind us of the main mistakes when driving in bad weather.
First of all, they emphasize not checking the tyres: they are without a doubt one of the most important elements of the vehicle, as they are the only link between the car and the road. If the tire is not checked, it may be worn out
and therefore lose adhesion, especially in the wet. The regulations stipulate that the depth of the tread pattern must not be less than 1.6 mm, although for greater grip and safety Norauto recommends not to go below 3 mm, especially in the rain. And it is that a worn tire radically increases the risk of aquaplaning and prolongs braking alarmingly.
Tire wear should be checked with a depth gauge or depth gauge. It can be done quickly at home with a coin as a reference. When the coin is inserted into the grooves of the tire and
the outer ring of the €1 coin it still doesn’t stick out, it means the wheel is still in good condition. However, if it is visible, it means that the wheel tread is below the limit and it is useful to replace it.
You can also find the signs of wear distributed over the tread. Manufacturers place a series of indicators on the side of the tire, which can be the brand’s own logo or
a triangle or the initials TWI (from tread wear indicator). A tire close to that wear limit may not be a safe tire, so it is recommended to replace it sooner.
Another mistake is not checking the good condition of the brushes, both front and rear: in the rain, the wipers help remove the water so that the driver can see. If it’s not in good condition, they won’t make the right sweep and can therefore degrade visibility. Instead of cleaning, they can make more dirt.
brush life under optimal operating conditions is about a year. They are followed by not checking the windshield washer fluid: they are important to clean the windshield at the first drops of rain, precisely the most critical situation, since the few drops of water mix with the dirt. You need to check the level and add if necessary. Although not only in the rain, it is also advisable to check oil, power steering, brake fluid and especially antifreeze.
It is customary that we do not check the correct operation of the air conditioner or the air conditioner
demisting system the crystals. And it is that the crystals fog up when they are cold and due to the temperature difference with the interior of the vehicle. Many vehicles have their own automatic anti-fog system for the windows, both front and rear. Otherwise, you can maximally direct the air conditioning towards the windows.
As for the lights, the hours of light are decreasing and, in addition, the rains typical of autumn
correct vision. For this reason it is necessary to check that there is no incident light and that they are level. When it rains, the position and intersection lights must be on. That of fog only when the rain is intense.
Another common mistake is not checking the proper functioning of the brakes: a professional mechanic should check the brake pads and discs. Don’t forget that the braking distance becomes longer when it rains and that the road is extra slippery at the first drops. At a speed of 50 km/h, the braking distance in the rain can be almost doubled.
Among the most common mistakes that the driver suffers from, driving without taking adverse weather conditions into account stands out. In rain, wind… it is important to drive responsibly
to slow down and adapt to particular road and weather conditions. You should also increase the safety distance to the vehicle in front and avoid distractions and overtaking at all times. In strong wind situations like the current one, you should hold the handlebars firmly and always with both hands. You must avoid going through tunnels and bridges. The “screen” effect, a situation that occurs when overtaking a large vehicle, must be taken into account: the steering of the car becomes uncontrollable and it is important to correct it.
It is advisable not to take the vehicle without checking the weather or traffic conditions. There are circumstances in which it is better not to take the vehicle, such as heavy rain, very windy gusts… Today, technology allows us to
know the traffic in real condition and weather forecasts. Norauto recommends doing this consultation before traveling, especially if it is long, and advises not to drive in extreme situations where safety cannot be guaranteed and there is no visibility.
It is equally common to pass through puddles without knowing their depth. It is
another big mistake Many drivers do. In these cases, the risk of aquaplaning increases. The depth of the puddle is unknown and therefore the tire may lose contact with the asphalt and lose control of the vehicle.
As motorists, we have to consider other, more vulnerable road users: pedestrians, motorcycles, bicycles, electric scooter users. If they are surprised by rain on the road, their vulnerability increases. It is advisable
increase the safety distance respect them and slow down a lot. We must remember that we are all vulnerable users at some point.
In case of rain, it is important to have the vehicle ready and prepared for rainy, cold and windy situations, in addition to driving responsibly and respectfully.
Source: La Verdad