Driving in the rain can be one of the most enjoyable motoring experiences if done right. However, it is also one of those instances where one has to be very cautious, especially in the UAE where rainy weather isn’t all too common. However, when it does rain, the situation can turn perilous. These tips and techniques for driving in the UAE rain are sure to come in handy.
Prepare Your Car
While rains are sporadic in the UAE, it is known that it does rain quite a bit on some days during the winter. Keeping an eye on the weather forecast always helps. When you know rain is predicted, it is time to check if your car is ready for the rain.
Tyres are the sole point of contact between your car and the road, and this places immense importance on having good tyres for when it rains. Do check the tyres for enough tread depth as most tyre treads will have grooves and water drainage channels built into them and this will help your car grip the road well when it is wet.
Although there is a legal measure for minimum tyre tread requirements, having higher tread depth does give you an advantage. In addition, if your car’s tyres are old, there are chances that the rubber has hardened and harder rubber results in lower grip levels especially when it is cold and wet.
Is Your Car Waterproof?
While cars are never designed to be waterproof enough to be dunked in a water tank, they are built with a certain degree of water resistance, and this applies to specific sections of the car. If in a good condition, the rubber seams around the doors and windows ensure that water doesn’t enter the cabin. If hardened and cracked, these rubber seams and seals will let a few drops of water in.
Some of the electricals in your car are supposed to be water resistant as well. It is important to take a look at some of the exposed wiring and to also check that the fuse boxes are properly covered. If there is an electrical leak, it could lead to a short circuit when exposed to water.
While you’re at it, it is a good idea to check your car’s wipers. In most cases, the wiper motors last the entire lifetime of the car and don’t really give up. However, rubber on the wiper blades can harden over time with exposure to the harsh sun during summer days and the cold breeze at night. This can cause them to be ineffective in wiping away the water on your car’s windscreen. Thankfully, it is a cheap fix.
Driving In The Rain
Drivers in the UAE are known to be disciplined and well-trained. While motorists are required to be cautious at all times, the rains bring some more complications that require drivers to be extra cautious.
The UAE boasts one of the most diverse car markets in the world. One can find everything from the smallest hatchbacks to the largest pickup trucks. It is also home to some of the fastest, most exquisite supercars and hypercars. While these hypercars and supercars are sure to leave you gawking and maybe even hooting, they might be slightly impractical on waterlogged roads.
The UAE has some of the best urban road infrastructure in the world, however, these roads aren’t quite used to lots of downpours and some areas do experience waterlogging. Pickup trucks, SUVs, crossovers and some hatchbacks and sedans are sure to get through the water. However, some road-hugging cars might not do so well on a waterlogged stretch.
For example, a Lamborghini Aventador measures 44.72 inches in height while the Toyota Land Cruiser is rated for wading through 27.55 inches of water. If a particular stretch of road is flooded with around 10 inches of water, we can expect some water to enter the supercar while the SUV will just brush it off. This is where size does matter.
If you are looking for SUVs or crossovers to help you navigate through waterlogged sections of the road confidently and safely, DubiCars has over 5,000 used SUVs for sale and nearly 6,000 new SUVs on sale.
Eyes On the Road
Wet tyres and wet metal aren’t really the best of friends. Drain covers made of metal will certainly be slippery when it is raining and this is something to watch out for. In some cases, roundabouts and corners are inundated with water and this makes the kerb invisible. In such cases, one must carefully and slowly manoeuvre.
One must also be wary of seeing small patches of rainbow colours on the roads. While the colours might look good, the cause of it isn’t exactly safe. It is an oil spill that has now mixed with the rainwater and this is a concoction that requires drivers to exercise utmost caution. Braking while your car’s tyres are on the patch must be avoided at all costs.
Driving Techniques To Swear By
First and foremost, vehicle speed must be kept in check. Even if your car is equipped with the best ABS tech on the market, braking distances increase drastically when the roads are wet and hence the overall speed must be lower than when the roads are dry. One must also take care not to brake or swerve hard. These are movements that unsettle the dynamics of the vehicle in motion and could have disastrous consequences.
Once you have driven through a reasonably deep patch of water, there is a possibility that some water might have made its way onto the brake rotors, making them slightly less effective. A pump of the brake pedal or two should bring the effectiveness right back.
Driving through water most often results in a splash and this could ruin the day for a pedestrian on the sidewalk. In order to be a well-mannered motorist, drivers must watch out for those who are more exposed to the weather.
Aquaplaning Is Your Worst Enemy
This is something that you can’t really prepare for unless you have prior experience in rally driving on the snow. Aquaplaning is similar to walking on black ice. A thin layer of water builds up between the tyres and the road and this results in a complete loss of grip, which in turn could send your car slipping and sliding uncontrollably.
If you do spot a large patch of water that can’t be avoided, reduce speed gradually before hitting the water and while on the water, avoid any sort of input on the steering, brakes and throttle.