Monsoon and Road Safety

Dr KK Aggarwal

Padma Shri and Dr B C Roy National Awardee
President, Heart Care Foundation of India

Tips for driving in rain.

During the monsoons, many people become victims of road traffic accidents. So it is important for the public to revise their knowledge about road safety.

Follow these tips to drive safely during the monsoons:

• Drive slowly. Driving too fast is the No. 1 cause of accidents on rainy days.
• If an accident occurs or your vehicle stalls, pull as far off the road as possible, turn on the flashing emergency lights, and move to a safe area. If there is no safe place next to the road, stay in your car and remain buckled up.
• Drive in the tyre prints of the car ahead of you. When a car hydroplanes, it is riding on a thin layer of water between the tires and the road. The water in tyre prints has already been displaced, so you get better traction.

• If your car hydroplanes, hold the steering wheel steady and lightly apply brakes. When you feel the tyres touch the pavement, slow until you regain control.
• Do not speed through standing water.
• Motorcyclists should bear in mind that crosswalk lines and pavement arrows are super–slick.
• Check the tyres and wipers of your car. According to the Traffic police, many drivers in accidents say their visibility was hampered as the car wipers smeared their windshields on a rainy day.
• Keep a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front. Your braking distance is greatly increased in wet driving.
• Do not brake while in a curve if at all possible. Brake before entering the curve.
• Do not change lanes. If at all you need to do so, use turn signals for all lane changes and turn well in advance so that you do not surprise another driver and cause him to brake.
• Dark traffic signals or blinking red lights mean everyone must stop once, assess the traffic and only then drive on.