Castilla-La Mancha and Asturias are on orange alert this Wednesday due to significant risk of strong storms and heavy rain. Another eight communities are on yellow alert for the same reason, to which hail and occasional gusts of wind of up to 80 km / h are also added. This is the meteorological panorama of Spain after a Tuesday that left important storms in towns such as Ciudad Real, where hail balls between four and seven centimeters in diameter were also collected.
The State Meteorological Agency (Aemet) also warns of heavy rain and storms in Galicia and the eastern Cantabrian Sea, where the amount of water may be abundant and, while driving, dangerous. Although some data collected this Tuesday is very striking, this situation usually occurs in summer, where the first storms make an appearance before reaching the rainy season par excellence, autumn. During hot months, storms are often spontaneous and short, but they can be very intense and dangerous behind the wheel. That is why following some recommendations to maximize security will be necessary if you cannot avoid leaving the house.
WITH RAIN, BETTER NOT GO OUT
The best and safest advice is to stay home and avoid driving if there is a storm or heavy rain. If you are already underway, you have to prepare to stop as soon as possible and wait for it to pass or, at the very least, for the storm to subside to avoid a scare. Still, many people will find themselves caught in a downpour without the ability to stop. So, you have to move on to the following tips which are shared by Auto for Trade.
DON’T GET OUT OF THE CAR
In case of being able to stop, and being far from home or the destination, it is best to wait inside the car for the storm to pass, especially if it is electric. In this case, the car is the safest place to shelter from the rays. The tires are made of rubber, an insulating material, so the car is isolated from the ground and the current will not find the vehicle. In addition, since the bodywork does conduct electricity, the electric current would be distributed throughout the silhouette, leaving the interior totally isolated if its occupants do not touch any metal part. Of course, if lightning strikes the car, it is most likely that both the paint and the electronic systems are seriously damaged.
REDUCING SPEED IS VITAL
Water and speed don’t go well. At 100 km / h, a puddle three centimeters deep is enough for the famous phenomenon of aquaplaning to take place. In this way, the wheels do not stick to the road and the tires float in the water, leaving the fate of the vehicle at the mercy of luck until it finds asphalt again. The same puddle at 30 km / h produces only a slight splash. That is why, even traveling on a highway, the best measure is to reduce and circulate at a safe speed.
CHECK THE CONDITION OF THE TIRES
It is a rule that appears in the tips for all aspects of driving because they are the part of the vehicle that is in permanent contact with the asphalt. The tires are carefully designed to offer the best possible grip whatever the weather or terrain situation, but they will only do their job well if they are in optimal condition. Worn tires will not respond well when their surface gets wet and loses grip, thus increasing the chances of hydroplaning or loss of control of the car.
PUT THE LIGHTS ON
When a storm occurs, the day is totally dark, so it is advisable to turn on the lights. Otherwise, the driver endangers himself and other drivers as well. Rain, a wet asphalt and a dark day can make it difficult to see other vehicles, especially gray ones. That is why wearing the lights helps the driver to see further and to be seen from a further distance.
INCREASE THE SAFETY DISTANCE
The safe distance is crucial for many aspects of driving. In addition to being able to avoid traffic jams, maintaining a correct safety distance can prevent many accidents. In the event of a storm or heavy rain, it is advisable to leave more than indicated to deal with the change in behavior of the vehicle in front. In adverse conditions, vehicles take longer to brake, may skid, and visibility is lower. Allowing more safety distance will allow the driver to better control the traffic conditions and possible problems caused by inclement weather.
By following these measures, driving safely during a storm or in heavy rain is possible. Even so, it must be remembered that in addition to having the car in perfect condition, you have to keep all five senses on the road, so turning down the music or the radio and putting both hands on the wheel are measures that must also be taken into account.