As the rain resumes its downpour on earth, Ford Motor Corporations offers Nigerian motorists tips on how to stay alert and drive safely when the rain gets heavy
[dropcap]N[/dropcap]igeria is known for its hot climate. If there’s one thing you can count on, it is knowing that temperatures rarely drop below 20 degrees and the forecast will generally be bright. However, during the rainy season these high temperatures result in heavy rainfall, making driving conditions difficult.
Getting to your destination thus becomes a challenge during Nigeria’s wet months. That’s why Ford Motor Company wants to make sure that drivers are alert and safe by offering some essential tips for wet weather driving.
Slow Down: First thing you should do is slow down when roads are wet. This will give you more control and more time to react. You will need both, because when it’s raining, the road becomes slippery and visibility is limited.
Start of the Storm Can Be Dangerous: When the first rains of the season fall, moisture mixes with the oil build up on the road and makes surfaces slippery and dangerous. Heavy rains will eventually wash the oil away—but that’s when you have to worry about hydroplaning. That happens when your car loses contact with the road and skids on the layers of water and almost feels as though it’s floating.
Hydroplaning? If you find yourself hydroplaning, keep calm. Avoid going into an uncontrolled skid by slowing down, turning off cruise control and avoiding sudden braking and turns. You’re more likely to hydroplane on non-grooved asphalt roads than ribbed concrete – particularly if there are tyre ruts worn into the asphalt. Also avoid any areas on the road where deeper water collects.
Rolling in the Deep: Do not drive in areas that are flooded or have moving water. Deep water can wreak havoc on your electrical system and engine. As little as a foot of water can cause some vehicles to float, and two feet of rushing water can sweep vehicles away, including SUVs and pick-ups.
Turn on Your Headlights: With heavy rain come dark skies, so turn on your headlights. But don’t use your high beams, the extra light can refract against the droplets and distract drivers.
Flip on Defrosters and Set AC to Fresh Air: Switch on your defrosters to reduce fog, and set your air conditioner or heater to the fresh-air setting instead of re-circulating the air in the car.
Keep Your Distance: The spray from trucks or large vehicles can obscure your vision, so keep your distance or try to pass them if you have a safe opportunity.
Head for Higher Ground: Look for higher paths to drive on. And if it gets too harsh out there, don’t take risks: Find a safe place to pull over on higher ground – away from tall, isolated trees and poles in case there’s lightning — and wait for the rain to pass.
Be Prepared: Make sure you are ready for rainy conditions before the season starts. Check that your headlamps, wiper blades, brakes and tyres are always properly maintained and in working order.
By keeping these tips in mind, drivers can make sure they are well prepared to handle rainy conditions and ensure that the added risks that wet weather brings are minimized. Ford wishes all drivers many safe miles on the road this rainy season.