Careful driving in bad weather – traffic police


“Motorists need to be extra careful when driving in bad weather, as even a simple mistake can lead to accidents in wet conditions”, warns Traffic DIG Amarasiri Senaratne. Drivers often turn in various directions to avoid water on the road. Motorists on the opposite side, unaware of these unexpected turns, and unable to take timely evasive action, often crash head-on,” he explains. “It is important motorists drive slowly and carefully on rainy days”.

It is also important to maintain the proper following distance as water reduces the braking power in vehicles. Have an eye on the brake lights of the vehicle in front. Be extra careful when following buses or large vehicles. The water sprayed by their tyres can reduce the vision, which is specially a problem on the expressway.

Pix by Susantha Liayanawatte

Mr. Senaratne further added that motorists should check the vehicles before getting them out these days. Malfunctioning wipers and brittle wiper blades should be replaced, as they decrease visibility. Tyres should also be in good condition.

When driving on the expressway, leave much space between you and the car in front, because it takes longer to stop. You’re supposed to leave a few seconds between cars in dry weather. Make sure you increase space in wet weather, because, if you have to hit the brakes hard, your tyres will lock, and you will hydroplane and will most likely hit the car in front of you. If available, drive in the fast lane, where there are fewer cars and less oil deposited on the road. Also, because of the built-in slope of the road, water drains towards the slower lanes. Avoid lane changes, as water tends to build up between the tyre ruts in the lanes.

Whatever you do, it tends to skid on rainy days. You can prevent skidding by driving slowly and carefully, especially on curves. Brake before entering the curves, says Mr Senaratne. Steer and brake with a light touch. If you find yourself in a skid, remain calm, ease your foot off the gas, and carefully steer in the direction you want the front of the car to go. This procedure, known as “steering into the skid,” will bring the back end of your car in line with the front. For cars without anti-lock brakes, avoid using your brakes. If your car has ABS, brake firmly as you “steer into the skid.”

The Traffic DIG also calls on motorists to be courteous to pedestrians by slowing down to avoid splashing water on them.

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