The El Nino rains are here, as rightly predicted by the Kenya Meteorological Department.
From past experiences, floods have been known to cause havoc by disrupting normal operations, not forgetting getting most motorists, especially the inexperienced stranded.
What about the unending traffic gridlocks? Whether you drive a BMW or belong to the ‘footsubishi’ club, somehow, you can’t escape the snarl-up resulting from heavy rains on busy highways.
In this week’s motoring review, The Standard lists tips to keep motorists safe and alert during this rainy season.
It is important to reduce your speed and maintain a safe driving distance from other vehicles. Roads can be slippery during rain, and it takes longer to stop or slow down.
Defog both windows (rear and front)
Use your car's defogging system to keep your windshield and windows clear and ensure good visibility. Avoid using clothes to defog the windows since it can disrupt your driving.
- WHO, MoH launch training of healthcare workers in 4 counties ahead of El Nino
- Government to setup emergency health centres
- Cases of cholera, diarrhoea surge due to hygiene risk posed by El Nino
- Sh10 billion disbursed as 38 counties hit alarm stage in El Nino disaster
Turn on your headlights. Not a full beam.
This includes even during the day so that it can help increase your visibility to other drivers and help them see you. Fog and hazard lights are recommended to alert other drivers to your presence.
Avoid cruise control
It is not advisable to use cruise control in wet conditions. As a motorist, you are supposed to have full control over your speed and be able to react quickly to changing road conditions.
Observe lane discipline
As the floods rage, water tends to accumulate on the edges of the road, it is key that a driver stays in the center lanes to avoid standing water, which can cause hydroplaning. Drive in the center of the road where the water is typically shallower.
Pullover if necessary
Better safe than sorry, if the rains persist, visibility is severely reduced, or you feel uncomfortable driving, find a safe place to pull over and wait until conditions improve.
Do not attempt to drive through flooded roads, especially if you can't see the depth of the water. You risk being swept away.
Observe road closure signs
If a road is closed due to flooding, obey the signs and find an alternative route.
Watch out for puddles
Avoid driving through large puddles or areas of standing water, as they can conceal hazards or cause your vehicle to hydroplane.
Be mindful of other drivers
Anticipate the actions of other drivers and give them extra space and time to react. Not everyone has enough experience driving in the rain.
Avoid at all costs driving in areas prone to flooding during heavy rain. Check the weather forecast and plan your trips accordingly.
Always carry with you, an emergency kit in your car that includes essentials such as a flashlight, and most importantly, an emergency triangle which must be placed within 10 minutes of stopping to warn of oncoming traffic.
Maintain your vehicle
Last but not least, ensure that your vehicle is in good condition, with properly functioning brakes, tires with adequate tread, and functional windshield wipers.