MONSOONS ARE ABSOLUTELY rewarding. After three months of the scorching summer, the pitter-patter of rain sounds as melodious as your Spotify playlist. Be it the petrichor, a whiff of fresh air or the thundering clouds, the whole season is a theatrical amalgamation of peace and drama, aimed at elevating our moods. While the sights are rewarding to spectate from the comfort of our homes, things could turn rather dangerous when you step out – particularly while driving on wet roads. Visibility gets severely hampered; roads turn into lunarscape and grip levels are reduced. Driving can be a nightmare.
Does that mean you should avoid getting behind the wheel in the rains? Absolutely not. After driving thousands of kilometres across India in the rains, we can assure you that driving on wet roads is all about ensuring that you and your car are equipped to deal with low grip situations and poor visibility. It is just a matter of understanding and minimising the risks at play, to make yourself a safer driver on the roads and we’re going to tell you how. We drove out of town in two of our long-term cars, the Hyundai Venue and the Grand i10 Nios, not only to unwind from lockdown monotony, but also to explore the aforementioned topics even further to help you become better and safer motorists during these wet months.
GETTING YOUR CAR READY
WITH MASSIVE DEVELOPMENTS IN technology, modern cars are extremely reliable and require minimum attention. But that doesn’t warrant you to turn a blind eye towards your daily driver. You cannot underestimate the dire consequences of heavy rainfall either. If you check a few important things before you set out in the rains, your car can tackle sticky situations which inevitably come up. And you don’t need a mechanic to check the following things. You can do them all by yourself.
Tyres play a key role in maintaining the intended trajectory of your car by providing grip. Tread patterns and circumferential groove profiling are designed to channel the water out from under the tyres and keep them in contact with the road. If the tread pattern is worn out, it’s imperative to get the tyres replaced. An effective old-school trick to check this is to push a coin in the tread blocks and check how far in it goes. If the coin barely sinks in, you know it’s time for a new set of rubber.
Check if the wiper blades uniformly wipe water off the windshield. If they are cracked or the rubber liners worn out, it’s time for a replacement. Many Hyundai cars even get rain-sensing wipers with an intermittent variable function that avoids the need for manual adjustment.
Headlamps, taillamps and turn indicators
The primary cause of many road accidents is compromised visibility. Rains impact visibility even further, making it difficult for you to scan the road ahead. That’s where well-functioning headlamps, taillamps and turn indicators make a difference. If any of these are not working, ensure timely replacement before heading out in the rains. Modern Hyundai cars get LED headlamps, taillamps and DRLs that provide excellent visibility in poor lighting conditions. Cars like the Grand i10 Nios and the Creta even get an emergency stop signal that flashes the taillamps frequently in case of panic braking to alert the vehicles behind. In the rain, remember to keep your lights on so that everyone around you can see you, and you have a clear view ahead. Also, never turn on hazard lights unless you are stopped at the side of the road. You need your indicators to show that you are turning/ changing lanes.
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