Introduction The monsoon rains are welcomed by all as they provide a respite from the singing heat of the summer. But the monsoons come with their own fair share of problems particularly to road users. You will notice an increase in the frequency of road accidents particularly at heavy traffic zones while it is raining. Many wonder how to drive safely during the monsoons and hence this PPT will provide you some safety tips that will let you enjoy the monsoons safely. But before that have a look on some of the main driving problems in monsoon……
Basic Safety Tips: • Drivers suffering from diseases like diabetes, blood pressure, asthma or any other, for which they take prescribed medicine, must keep a stock of their medicines in the vehicle • In a disaster like situation, instead of trying to reach home, first try and reach the home of the nearest acquaintance. Minimize travel • Lower your window panes while driving through water-logged areas • Carry out a thorough pre-monsoon check for your vehicle, including batteries, tyres with recommended tyre pressure, electrical wiring, engine and wipers • Do not drink and drive; wear your seat belts; follow traffic rules and drive at a safe-speed • Create ICE – In Case of Emergency – numbers in your mobile phone contact list, to enable rescuers to contact your near and dear ones • Remember, at any time, your life is more precious than your vehicle
Must-have items in a vehicle: • A well equipped first-aid kit with bandages, pain relief spray, antiseptic cream, mosquito repellant cream or spray and anti-allergic & pain relief medicines • Hammer: to break open the glass of the driver’s window from the centre, in case of an auto-lock failure • Nylon Rope: thick, at least 20 meters long. To be kept in the boot space • Dry and non-perishable food items: to be kept in an air-tight container ideally, in ample quantities. Dry fruits are recommended • Bottled water: at least two liters, to be refilled daily • A fully charged torch, plastic sheets, spare umbrella, a working whistle
Safety Measures Adequate wipers Adequate headlight, tail light, parking light, brake light and fog lamps Adequate vehicle maintenance prior to monsoon Adequate rubber beadings to avoid water seepage in rain Fully filled windshield washer water cane Safe driving in monsoon Keep in car Adequate brakes Torch Adequate tyre thread Umbrella Hammer
Preparation of your car for monsoon: • Ensure that your car is in healthy condition; the tyres, brakes and wipers must be in good working condition. It’s a good idea to get a set of new wiper blades at the start of each monsoon season. • Ensure that your foot pedals are not slippery. Check the rubber mats and change them if required. • Your tyres must have good amount of thread left, Driving on tires that are over or under-inflated can prove to be dangerous, even on dry tarmac. • Check the focus of your headlight beams and correct if necessary. • Have the windshield washer fluid topped up at all times, and clean all glasses thoroughly. Try using a newspaper to clean your windscreens. • Check the rubber beadings / weather strips on the doors; they should sit flush with the glass. If they appear loose, tighten or change them. The rubber beadings stop water from seeping inside the door panels, which could cause an errant central locking system, short circuit or rust. • You never know when you may end up stuck on the road. Don't ever let your fuel tank go below the 1/2 level mark. Also, stock up with sufficient supplies of snacks and bottled water. Chocolates, packaged wafer chips and energy bars make for great snacks to store in your car. (Remember 26 July incidence many people stuck in cars left nothing to eat or drink). • Keep a first-aid kit, torch and umbrella handy. Some members even recommend keeping a small hammer in the car. In the event of flood waters jamming your doors, the hammer could help in breaking the windows for escape. • Rains can make for damp smelly interiors. Get an air-fresher for your car, the type that hooks onto the air-con vent.
On Road Safety • Concrete roads are very slippery, far more than our good coal tar roads. Bridges and flyovers can also be extra slippery, so drive carefully over these areas. • More than anything, go slower in the rains. It's that simple. Adopt a conservative driving style and plan for a longer travel time. For instance, brake earlier and with lesser force than you would in the dry. Prevent skids by driving slowly and carefully, especially on the curves. A gentle approach is the key here. • Use your turn signals liberally. Strictly no sudden lane changing maneuvers either. • Maintain a safe distance with the car ahead, one that's twice as longer than in the dry. Braking distances are severely affected on wet roads. • Switch on your low beam headlights in the rains, whether night or day. Not only can it potentially improve your vision, headlamps will also let others see you better. Avoid using high beam in the rains as it can reflect light as well as blind oncoming traffic. • Try to be is in the middle lane. Cause Crowned roads will have water settle on either side. Plus, you will notice puddle formation in the right lanes, while the left will always have people joining the road or exiting. • Never splash into a puddle as it could severely damage your car. For instance, water getting into your air intake could kill your engine. • Blind spots! In the monsoons, trucks and other commercial vehicles have absolutely no rear view. Take extreme caution before overtaking them because, in all probability, they can't see you! Honk and flash your headlights liberally. • If you experience heavy rains on the highway, follow a conservatively driven bus / truck with working stoplights. However, don’t follow it too closely else the spray from its huge tyres will impair your vision.
Windscreen / Window fogging: • Remember: Window fogging occurs due to a temperature difference between the inside surface of your glass and the outside. For example, if you drive without the air-con and all your windows are shut, the cabin is warmer than the outside, resulting in the window fogging up from inside. On the other hand, if you run your air-con on full blast mode, the interiors of your car will be colder than the outside. Thus, your glasses will fog up from the outside. • Keep the air-con on fresh air / ventilation mode. • It is important to maintain the right temperature balance between the inner & exterior sides of glass. Don't turn your air-con to full blast. Keep it at a level which is just about comfortable. • When the windows fog from the inside, the best thing to do is to switch the aircon on. It will clear up the screens. The situation is a little trickery when the windows fog up from the outside. The ideal solution is to roll down the windows a little, and let the air flow more or less neutralize the temperature difference. Most modern cars come with the demist / defog mode as part of the standard HVAC system. • Drive safe! The rain is beautiful. Taking the necessary precautions, extra caution will make your monsoon drives a pleasure !! Enjoy the Rain