Driving in the mountains

Driving in the rain could be easier (and safer)

Rain in Malaysia is torrential, sometimes near disastrous. We hate, totally hate driving in the rain. Visibility drops. Puddles can become death traps. Cars slow to a crawl. Not to mention the resulting traffic jam. Well, we can’t change the weather, but we sure can adapt. Here are a few good tips to survive Malaysian weather.

Visibility first!

Check your wiper blades

If you can’t see well, nothing else matters. Replace your wiper blades every 6 months to make sure they aren’t cracked, leaving fine water lines on your windshield during downpour. Your wipers are your first line of defense against rain.

person driving the car
Your wipers are your first line of defense against downpour.

Use your defogger

The ventilation system of your vehicle is not only for your comfort, but also for safety. When you windshield or rear window fogs up, you need the defogger to quickly clear it up. Do you remember where the buttons are? If not, find out now.

Rain repellent is the greatest invention

Rain repellant, like Rain-X, is superb for improving visibility during rain. Apply a coat of it over your windshield. Then watch the rain water beads up into droplets and slides away from your windshield, like magic.

Rain repellent turn rain water into droplets that slide off your windshield quickly.

Don’t buy the myth that says rain repellant could damage your wiper blades. It doesn’t. Even if it does, the improved visibility and safety are worth it. You are supposed to change your wiper blades every 6 months anyway.

Drive slower!

At speed (above 80km/h as a rule of thumb), your risk of hydroplaning increases. That’s when your tyres float on water and your car becomes a boat, losing all traction and control. Furthermore, braking distance can increase as much as 30%.

Hence, slow down in the rain. Slow down. I can’t emphasize enough.

Check your tyres regularly to ensure there are enough treads left!

The real function of the treads is to displace water. When the tyre comes in contact with water, it channels the water away through the grooves. Without sufficient treads, the risk of hydroplaning becomes even higher.

The grooves channel water away so that your tyres can maintain contact with the road. So if the treads are worn, you must change your tyres.

Keep those hazard lights OFF!

When visibility deteriorates during heavy downpour, drivers tend to turn on their hazard lights to alert other drivers of their presence. But it is not a good idea. In many car models, when the hazard lights are flashing, the turn indicator no longer functions as intended. You can’t signal your direction when you need to change lane, making driving in the rain even more dangerous.

Don’t turn on your hazard lights during downpour. Otherwise, other drivers can’t tell which way you’re going when you use your turning signals.

Waze it!

Waze is a crowd-sourced navigation app that you most probably already know. Check the traffic condition before driving. Watch out for any disasters reported by other drivers. If you can, wait for the rain to stop. Enjoy a cup of coffee first.

What’s easier than driving in the rain? NOT driving in the rain. 😄