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Wet weather driving advice

Its raining. Again. Well, it is the rainy season, so what do you expect? But are you as safe as you can be on the roads? This week I’ll be giving you a little advice on ways to ensure you won’t become a casualty.


By Alasdair Forbes

Monday 5 November 2012, 04:26PM


You’re down in the depths of Patong. You drive through a knee-high flood and, guess what – your brakes don’t work afterwards because they’re wet. How do you dry them off? No, don’t grab a box of tissues. Simply drive with your left foot on the brakes for the next kilometre or so. The heat generated will dry the brakes. This works for motorbikes too, though you’ll have to apply both foot and handbrake to dry both back and front.

 

Driving into really deep water is a bad idea. It’ll get into he electrics and you’re dead in the water. In knee-high water the electrics should be okay, but you can still find the engine dies if water gets into your exhaust pipe. The trick is to make sure you keep the revs up – about 1,500 rpm should do it. The gases coming through the pipe will keep the water out.

 

When roads are wet, they get slippery, so you need to leave more space between you and the vehicle in front. Here’s a trick: On a dry road, pick something by the roadside, a power pole or a garbage bin, and count the second between the car in front passing the object and your car going past it. If it’s less than 2 seconds you’re too close. Back off. In wet weather, leave a 3 second gap at least.

 

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In heavy rain, make sure you can see other people and they can see you. If your wipers are getting old, replace them so they work properly – you won’t see anything if all your wipers do is drag great streaks across the windshield. And turn on your headlights. It really won’t cost you anything, and people coming the other way will be able to spot you and won’t smash into you.

 

If you’re on a motorbike, and it’s pouring, what do you do? Hold your hand in front of your face? Get the girlfriend or boyfriend to hold an umbrella in front of you? This is really stupid. You may not get rain in your face, but you still can’t see because your hand or umbrella is in the way. Wear a helmet with a clear visor. Those ones with dark glass are fine when it’s sunny, but make it hard to see when it’s dark and pouring with rain. Now you’ll be a lot more comfortable, and a lot safer.

 

Have a question? Email editor@thephuketnews.com

 

 

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