The Transport Department authorities here have appealed to motorists to adopt safe driving practices as heavy rain posed threats to road-users.

With the northeast monsoon, intermittent to heavy rainfall is experienced in many districts. Lakes and other water bodies are slowly getting full or have started over flowing.

As rains are not a common occurrence in this part of the region, many drivers are not used to driving in the rain. Hence, they have to take extra precautions while driving during rainy days.

Keeping this in mind, the Transport Department officials have suggested certain dos and don'ts for the road-users on the advice of District Collector U. Sagayam, who is the Regional Transport Authority, Madurai District.

According to RTO (North) N. Ravichandran, rain reduces driver's perception. It reduces the visibility through its action on headlights, windshields and the road itself. Generally, during rain , the engine oil and grease build up on the road and get mixed with water causing slippery conditions. Study reports reveal that road accidents occurred more during rainy days. As many accidents are preventable, the RTO officials have urged the motorists to avoid speed since there may not be road grip and poor visibility.

The motorists' may ensure that headlights, park lamps, brake lights, indicator lamps, mist lamps and windscreen wipers are in good working condition. The tyres are inflated to the correct pressure. Bald tyres may reduce road grip and hence it may be replaced.

Ensure sufficient storage of fuel in the tank and heavy vehicle drivers shall keep a first-aid kit, umbrella, blankets and flash lights. The long distance drivers shall check the spare wheels are in good shape and other equipments are readily available for replacing punctured tyres.

Mr. Ravichandran further said that the motorists shall fix red reflecting tapes on the rear side of the vehicle to alert drivers' following behind. Heavy passenger vehicles shall prominently display emergency exit. Drivers' should ascertain whether the planned route is affected by any flooding or is there any traffic collision or road closure. Headlights shall be turned on low beam. Drivers can avoid splashing water on pedestrians.

At intersection points, oil deposits may get blended with rain water causing chances of skidding. A cautious move on such stretches would prevent from freak accidents. It is always safe to keep a distance from the vehicle proceeding in front and advised not to get too close. Similarly, motorists' should watch carefully for pedestrians' who may cross the road in a hurry.

The RTO authorities advised two-wheeler riders to keep off the road when there is heavy down pour. As helmets would reduce the visibility, they are prone to road accidents. Passengers travelling in light commercial vehicles shall use seat belts and never leave children or pet animals unattended in parked vehicles during rains, a press release said.

Keywords: road safety

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