If you’re new to Arizona, then monsoon season could shock you. If you’ve lived here all your life, you may already know, but…. a monsoon could still shock you. Although most residents are anticipating the arrival of these monsoon storms in the summer months around here, drivers can still be caught unprepared when heavy rain and serious winds come out of, well, nowhere. Car care and preventative maintenance are important, as it is estimated that half of our annual rainfall comes during the summer months. A prepared vehicle and a prepared driver are safer!
Keeping Your Car Safe During Monsoon Season
Maintain your vehicle regularly; our auto repair shop provides services to help keep your vehicle safer and ready for a storm. Drivers should also maintain and monitor their vehicles – visual inspections are key.
- Routinely check your headlights and fog lights to make sure they’re working and bright, as well as inspect your windshield and your windows.
- Change your wiper blades once per year.
- Make sure your car battery is in good working shape; the condition, charge, and power are important to make sure the features work. Plus, increased humidity during rainy weather which affects your battery negatively and indirectly.
- Have your brakes inspected. Ensure your brake pads are regularly cleaned to keep away dirt, and if any part is found to be faulty, have the brake service completed by a trusted repair shop. Brake failure is a leading cause of accidents and your brakes are a major safety feature during a storm.
- Make sure your tires have the proper pressure and tread. Tires are also a main safety feature as well – condition matters. No one needs to be aquaplaning or hydroplaning, especially in a monsoon.
- The electronics should be working – as in lights and flashers. You may need to use them when you pull over during a storm.
- Wash your car after a storm. The acid from the rain can ruin the paint. You may even wish to have an anti-corrosion treatment done.
- If you think your vehicle needs a service before or after a monsoon, make an appointment and we will help you figure out vehicle services will be necessary to keep you safe.
Safety and Driving Tips for Being Caught Driving in a Monsoon
Following some basic driving tips and a safety plan can also help keep you and other drivers safe during a monsoon. Try to plan ahead and avoid driving on the roads if you’re being warned that a monsoon is going to occur. Of course, we cannot always plan for this, so these tips can help new and experienced drivers alike:
- Slow down. Speeding during a monsoon or any heavy rains is not recommended. In fact, it is irresponsible and dangerous for all involved. Hydroplaning is a serious concern; this is when a layer of water forms in between the road and the tires; this can result in the loss of friction. Crashes due to aquaplaning often occur at high speeds.
- Make sure you can be seen; use headlights and fog lights in any type of rain.
- Avoid some routes if you know a road, in particular, tends to get flooded. NEVER drive through flooded streets – turn around immediately.
- Keep a safe distance between your car and the one in front of you. Sudden stops are harder on wet roads.
- Brake earlier than normal and with less pressure. Give people behind you more time to react.
- Have a first aid kit and other safety supplies in your vehicle.
- If conditions are bad, pull over and stop and wait it out. Once you’re safely pulled over off to the side of the road, activate your hazards and keep your lights on so other drivers can see you in the low visibility.
Car care and vehicle maintenance during the rainy season doesn’t have to be different than the rest of the year. Preventing accidents and breakdowns starts with making sure your vehicle is in good condition. Exercise additional caution and follow as many tips as you can. We’re here for you!