Road Accidents Are More Likely To Occur In Rainy Seasons; Here Are Safety Tips You Should Know
The rainy season is that time of the year when road travel is laden with various risks. With side effects ranging from slippery roads to massive unseen potholes, road travel in Nigeria during the rainy season becomes precarious, causing an increase in the cases of road traffic accidents.
The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) reported that, in 2016, the agency recorded a total number of 9,694 road traffic accidents, involving 15,682 vehicles, which led to the death of 5,053 persons, while 30,105 others sustained various degrees of injuries. Road traffic accidents are caused by a number of reasons amongst which are bad driving habits, poor vehicle maintenance, bad roads and environmental factors such as bad weather. Bad weather conditions like heavy rain downpour are more likely to cause poor visibility, which can make drivers unaware of what is ahead, leading to fatal accidents. This is extremely dangerous for the driver and other road users.
When driving in the rain, there is a need for you to adjust your driving and vehicle maintenance habits in order to avoid the risks that abound during the rainy season. Here are a few driving safety tips for you to know and employ during this rainy season, in order to avoid road traffic accidents:
- Drive slowly and keep your eyes on the road.
When it rains, visibility decreases by as much as 74%. It is safe to drive at or below the speed limit and ensure that you can see far enough ahead to make safe driving decisions in case you sight a hazard. When you are driving in the rain, FRSC advices that you reduce your speed and apply the “common sense speed limit”.
- Use your signal lights when changing lanes.
When you are driving, you need to consider other drivers and road users. Do not assume that other road users are at the same level of alertness as you are. Don’t veer off your lane abruptly without signaling for some seconds. Do not steer off suddenly on tight bends; in order to avoid collision with other vehicles.
- Keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you.
It is safe for you to always keep a safe following distance from the vehicle in front of you. This will prevent collision in case the car ahead of you brakes suddenly or when you need to hit the brakes. It is recommended that you leave a minimum of two car lengths between you and the vehicle ahead. This safe distance is especially critical when the roads are wet, as your car will need more time to brake on slippery roads.
- Beware of hydroplaning.
Hydroplaning occurs where your vehicle travels on top of water, with little or low contact with the road, causing your car to slide uncontrollably. When this occurs, friction between your tires and the road is eliminated and this causes a significant decrease in vehicle traction. Hydroplaning occurs mostly when tires are worn out or over inflated; worn out tires with missing treads do not give allowance for water to slide off the tires and will lead to your car riding above the road which can be extremely dangerous. To remain safe in this situation, do not make sudden steering motions, let off your accelerator slowly and drive straight till you regain control.
- Do not brake suddenly.
Slamming the brakes suddenly when driving in the rain may cause your vehicle to skid. Since the roads are slippery, when you stop the wheels too quickly, they may lose traction with the road and this can lead to a vehicle accident. In case skidding occurs, do not brake suddenly or make sudden turns, as doing so may cause your car to veer off uncontrollably.
- Keep your headlights on.
When it rains, visibility becomes low and most road users find it difficult to sight what is ahead of them. It can be difficult for drivers to see other cars; windshields are usually foggy and can quickly become dirty. As such, it is important to keep your headlights and hazard light indicators on to alert other vehicles and road users of the presence of your own vehicle.
- Avoid standing or flood water.
When visibility is low, it is easy to underestimate the depth of floodwater, especially when driving in unfamiliar places or at night. It is safe for you to drive in the middle of the road where you can avoid the build-up of rain water. As little as 30cm of flowing water can float your car; so it is advisable to avoid driving your vehicle through floodwater, especially in a flash flood.
Although you can be in control of your driving habits in the rain, the weather can worsen beyond your anticipation. Should this happen, it is sensible that you find a safe place on high ground to park and wait out the rain till the weather clears and the road is safe enough to travel.
Nevertheless, road accidents are bound to occur due to unforeseen circumstances, especially during the rainy seasons. It is vital for you to have a vehicle insurance policy in place to protect you from financial loss in the event of an accident.
Leadway Assurance has the perfect insurance policy for you – the Leadway Household Automobile, Personal Policy (L-HAPPy). As a policyholder under L-HAPPy, you are guaranteed a policy that covers not just the risks on the roads, but also your building, your household contents and your vehicles, as well as your personal accident and occupier’s liability risks, under a single policy. L-HAPPy offers five different types of cover based on your financial strength: basic, bronze, silver, gold and platinum, which have sum assured of up to N10, 000,000.00, N15, 000, 000.00, N20, 000, 000.00 and N25, 000, 000.00 respectively.
So, stay on the happy side of life. SMS HAPPY to 22865 for more enquiries on L-HAPPy. You may also contact our team on (01) 2800 700, 2800 701or 08129997070 to find out more about L-HAPPy and other insurance policies in our offerings. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for more details on L-HAPPy.