During the monsoon season in Singapore, the road tends to puddle with water. There might also be flash floods around some areas. Here are some tips for you as a driver to get through the rain safely.
Turn on your headlights
Turn on your headlights or flood lights when driving in the rain. Rain makes the sky darker and reduces overall visibility, making it more difficult to see the road and what’s ahead. When you have your headlights on, it is not only easier for you to see others, it is also easier for others to see you!
When driving on wet surfaces, always keep a safe distance between you and the car in front of you. Generally, the stopping distance of a vehicle on a wet road will increase to about twice the distance of that on a dry road. This is because there is less friction between the tyres and the wet road surface. Ensure that you have at least a 9 second window to allow for ample reaction time if the car in front stops suddenly. Granted, there will be drivers who will be annoyed at you for keeping such a huge distance, but does it really matter what others think? Safety for yourself is more important.
Avoid hard braking
Do not jam your brakes on wet road surfaces. This might cause your tyres to lock up, causing your vehicle to skid or spin out of control. Instead, brake steadily which is why leaving a big enough distance from the car in front of you is so important. If you lock the wheels accidentally, quickly release the brake pedal and apply the intermittent (ON/OFF) braking technique until the vehicle comes to a stop.
On a rainy day, a thin layer of water forms on the road surface. Even good tyres have reduced grip on the road as a result. As speed increases, surface water builds up under the vehicle’s tyres. When this happens, your vehicle will glide on the surface of the road. This is known as ‘Aquaplaning’. Aquaplaning results in the loss of steering control and braking efficiency. The faster you go, the more difficult it will be to control the vehicle. To counter this, you should slow down by easing your foot off the accelerator. Do not brake while you are aquaplaning.
Avoid the extreme lanes
Avoid driving on the extreme left and right lanes. This is because water tends to pool on the sides of the road and this water can cause your car to aquaplane (see point above). To avoid losing control of your car, drive in the middle lanes as much as you can.
Avoid driving on the lane markings
Lane markings are slippery. They are smooth, unlike the rough grey tarmac roads. There is less friction on smooth surfaces, especially in the wet, so avoid driving on the lane markings wherever possible to avoid aquaplaning and skidding.
Well maintained tyres
We at Squad workshop cannot emphasize enough the importance of doing regular tyre checks. It is extremely dangerous to drive with balding or damaged tyres. Tyres are the ONLY objects connecting your car (and you) to the surface of the road. Neglecting tyre care is neglecting the first and only object keeping your car in contact with the road. Without sufficient tyre treads, water cannot pass through the tyres properly, causing a build up of water between the tyres and the road, which then leads to hydroplaning. Because tyre maintenance is so important, Squad workshop does not charge for an evaluation of tyre health. Just drop by our workshop and we will check your tyre health for free (no obligations).
Sometimes, it is better to wait for the rain to pass before embarking on your journey. Check Singapore’s weather forecast here.
Here are some hot spots for flash flood in Singapore:
- Upper Thomson Road
- Paya Lebar
- Tanjong Pagar Road
- Craig Road Maxwell Road
- Tiong Bahru Road
- Alexandra Canal Sub Drain B near Redhill MRT station
- Bishan Road
- Enterprise Road at Jurong West
- Bukit Timah Road
- Dunearn Road
- Tampines Avenue 10
- Pasir Ris Drive 12
- Cashew Road
- Jurong Gateway Road
- Sime Darby Centre
- Woodlands Road exit on Kranji Expressway
- Credit: budgetdirect.com.sg