Quite unusual, most parts of Nigeria have experienced over 6 weeks of no-rain. Scary for motoring, the nation’s meteorological center predicted unusually heavy storm and flood across the country beginning from this month (September).
It is worrying as we entered September and it feels more like December January’s cold season, especially in parts of Southern Nigeria. When the storm strikes, as predicted, drivers might have to deal with flood and more dangerous bad roads, which might be covered by flood.
The deluge could come with more hazardous driving condition, as it could it lift sharp debris from streets and drainages on to the roads. What about deep potholes, which could be covered by flood. Highways could once again turn to waterways.
To ensure safe motoring through this season, therefore, motorists are advised to take note of the following tips put together by Eugene Herbert, managing director of SA-based MasterDrive.
- Adjust your speed to suit the conditions, however, do not slow down unnecessarily as this is just as dangerous.
- Don’t brake harshly and suddenly, especially if you feel yourself start to skid.
- Keep both hands on the steering wheel throughout the trip.
- If you have not done so already, check your wiper blades to ensure that they have not weathered over winter.
- Give yourself more travel time so you do not have to rush in bad weather.
- Do not use cruise control.
- Turn on your headlights.
- Brake earlier and with more caution.
- Avoid water which has pooled on the roads.
- If you cannot avoid this, drive through it slowly in case there is hidden debris or potholes.
- Leave a larger following distance.
- Driving recklessly and speeding increases your chances of hydroplaning.
- If you hydroplane, slowly lift your foot from the accelerator but do not brake harshly or move your steering wheel violently.
- If you start to skid, look where you want to be. While this may seem counterintuitive, our instinct is to steer in the direction that we are looking. Thus, if there is tree in front of you, do not look at the tree, rather look at where you want to be.
- Consider going for driver training on a skidpan before the rainy season starts in earnest to learn how to react if you do lose control during rainy weather.
Importantly, if it starts to rain in your region or looks like it is about to start, keep these tips in mind when you are on the roads.