Women and Wheels

How To Drive Safely In The Rain


As a realist, I told our resident expert Kyasanku Khalifani of Zion Auto garage that the only way to be safe on Kampala roads is not to drive on them at all. This isn’t an exaggeration on a good rainy day half of the roads will be submerged under water and crater sized potholes get formed out of the blue. So what you really need to be safe is to have swimming skills or one of the complicated vehicles that can sail and fly at the touch of a button.  But Kyasanku insists that these extraordinarily helpful tips will make a very big difference to the driver no matter how heavy or light it has rained.  Well, he is the expert.


Before the worst of the rain starts, do an inspection of your vehicle and check tyres, lights and wiper blades to ensure that you are set for the season.

Make sure your car’s Anti-lock braking systems (ABS) are in perfect condition. Stopping a car in a hurry on a slippery road can be very challenging and sometimes nerve-wracking event. In fact, on slippery surfaces, even professional drivers can’t stop as quickly without ABS as an average driver can with ABS. The theory behind anti-lock brakes is simple. A skidding wheel (where the tire contact patch is sliding relative to the road) has less traction than a non-skidding wheel. If you have been stuck on ice, you know that if your wheels are spinning you have no traction.  By keeping the wheels from skidding while you slow down, anti-lock brakes benefit you in two ways: You’ll stop faster, and you’ll be able to steer while you stop.

Wet road surfaces can cause tyres to skid. Keep a large distance between you and the vehicle in front of you as it will take your car a little bit longer to come to a complete stop.

Be more alert as pedestrians and animals will be rushing to get out of the cold and wet weather and could run across roads without much hesitation.

Keep your phone charged – the chances of being involved in an accident increases when visibility is poor due to bad weather. You may need to contact someone in case of an emergency.

Remember that driving behind large trucks means you get a lot of spray from the wheels. Keep a large distance between yourself and a truck and make sure that you can see their mirrors. If not, they can’t see you. This seems obvious, but slow down. You have more control of your car this way. Also, when it comes to corners, take it slowly.

Drive with your headlights on to increase visibility.