MasterDrive warns on Wet Weather Driving

Given the fact that, along with the welcome relief associated  with expected rains around parts of the country, there comes increased probability of one’s vehicle skidding in the wet. Below is MasterDrive’s message on what to avoid during wet weather driving.

Clearly, judging by the number and frequency of collisions, most drivers need to be reminded of some basic facts which, if applied, will positively impact on their journey. For the competent drivers (even if you only think you are) who may not think they need the information please humour us and, at least, pass this on to another ‘deserving’ person.

Mistake No. 1: Not adjusting speed to conditions

The speed limit is just a start; drivers need to adjust their speed to match their immediate driving conditions. The three factors that should always be considered are visibility, traffic and traction.

Solution: If visibility is minimised or if the road is wet, snowy, or icy, you should slow down significantly. This will give you more time to respond to any incident and help prevent a loss-of-traction situation.

Mistake No. 2: Doing more than one thing at a time

Even in clear, dry conditions, it is easy to overload the one tyre that ends up being asked to do the most when a driver attempts to do more than one thing at a time, such as turn and brake. In wet weather driving, the risk of losing traction is increased significantly when a driver attempts to force the vehicle to do two or more things at once.

Solution: Do one thing at a time — brake, then steer/turn, then accelerate. This will help prevent demanding too much of the tyre that takes the brunt of the traction requirements, thereby reducing the chance of a loss-of-traction situation.

Mistake No. 3: Not looking far enough ahead

Too many drivers only look just ahead of their own vehicle, often missing out on detecting a change in conditions  down the road to which they will need to respond.  A lane change or  pre-emptive braking  could be just the thing needed to prevent an incident in wet weather driving.

Solution:  Heads up, get those eyes moving. Work on looking further ahead (12 – 15 seconds)  and also predicting what other drivers might do that could create problems. Detecting potential problems ahead as early as possible can make the difference between a collision and a near miss.

Mistake No. 4: Not maintaining enough space

Most drivers fail to maintain enough space between their vehicle and other vehicles around them. Frequently, drivers position themselves too closely to the vehicle ahead. But, maintaining ‘open’ space to the sides is also critical — you may need to move into that space quickly. If you don’t have that space, you’ll be without an effective option to prevent a crash.

Solution: Back off a bit and lift up on the accelerator to keep an open space to at least one side of the vehicle. Space is your best friend out on the road — to the front, sides, and rear. It’s hard to collide with something if you have plenty of space around the vehicle.

Mistake No. 5: Not giving the road your full attention

Driving in poor weather requires your undivided concentration so that you can constantly adjust your speed and position, and detect any potential problems  as early as possible.  A ‘shiny’ patch on the road ahead – a diesel spill – could indicate tyres possibly losing traction, or another vehicle pulling out into your lane. If you add other tasks to driving, such as using a cell phone or changing the radio station your risk increases dramatically.

Solution: Stay focused on driving. Get there, and then get busy with non-driving activities. Common sense precautions include programming navigation systems and adjusting music selections before driving, and, of course, ignoring the cell phone.

So, even if you are an expert driver we are sure that the reminders noted above and  worth sharing with colleagues , family and even friends for upcoming wet weather driving.