Bad (read: wet) weather conditions are one of the causes of road accidents in Malaysia.

November marks the beginning of storms and floods. Even experienced drivers find it hard to move about when it pours, and given Malaysia's climate, that's pretty much frequent all year long.

Below are some quick safety tips to drive in the rain:

1) Ensure your car is in good/safe condition

This goes without saying, but a good shell is important to ensure the inside is protected. Clean your windshield and windows, inside and outside, at least once a month, and check your windshield wipers are in good condition. If it does not take dust/other forms of dirt from your windshield on a dry day, it's a sign that your wipers are up for change. While you are at it, also make sure you check on your washer fluid levels once a week.

Checking the condition of your headlights, taillights, and signal lights are also a must. On top of that, ensure that your car tyres are not worn out.

2) Know your roads/route

It is best to stick to routes you are familiar with if you need to be somewhere during a downpour. Trying out new paths may just land you on a flooded path.

Best of all, avoid being on the road if it's pouring outside, and wait until the weather is fairer to venture out.

3) Keep your distance

Your tyres' ability to stop, accelerate and change direction become greatly reduced in wet conditions, and as such, it is advisable to keep your distance from the car in front of you to avoid a fender bender.

Keeping distance from vehicles around you also gives you the space and time to react, should anything happen while you are driving.

4) Switch on your headlights

Visibility is low during a downpour, so switching your headlights would not only make you see better but also be seen better. If fog settles following the rain, you could also switch on your fog lights, experts say.

5) DO NOT switch on your hazard lights

Speaking of lights in wet conditions, DO NOT perform this Malaysian-favourite stunt - switching on your hazard lights. The lights are named as such for a reason, it is meant to be used during an emergency, and heavy rain is NOT an emergency.

6) DO NOT speed

You don't have to be Einstein to know that excessive speed kills even in fair weather, let alone in wet conditions.

The police recommend keeping your speed below 80km/h during rain, to prevent your vehicle from 'aquaplaning' when you press on the brakes. Aquaplaning (also known as hydroplaning) refers to the condition when a layer of water builds between the wheels of a vehicle and the road surface, leading to a loss of traction that prevents the vehicle from responding to control inputs. When this happens, the vehicle can glide forward uncontrollably.

7) DO NOT use cruise control

Experts also advise against using the cruise control function in wet road conditions, as the automatic acceleration can cause you to lose control of your vehicle when your vehicle hydroplanes, and then your tires regain traction.

Remember that you, the driver, are ultimately in control of your vehicle, and not the other way round. These are just some of the tips Astro Ulagam has compiled for you to survive on rainy days (pun intended).

Good luck trying it out, and we hope it will benefit you.

Source: geico.com, malaysiatrend.com
Photo source: Pexels