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Old 20th October 2012, 00:09   #301
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Safe Driving in the Rains

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Originally Posted by mail4ajo View Post
It could have been answered earlier. Whenever I use the wiper in rain, there is some haze on my windscreen. It irritates when there is oncoming traffic. It appears only when I use the wipers. There is not fogging otherwise. Is it the wipers or do I need to clean the windscreen?
Try wetting the windscreen and wiping it clean with a newspaper. Apart from your wipers being old, it could also be some sort of waxy residue. Many so called "glass cleaners" today are useful for household items only. Even though some claim that they can be useful for car windscreens, they leave behind a thin residue which is supposed to help repel dust. But what this does is mar your visibility when something swipes through- like a wiper. I learnt this the hard way. Another idea to increase the lifespan of your wipers is to keep them raised when the car is parked for long hours, especially if under the sun. The rubber blade might tend to stick to the windscreen during prolonged exposure to high temperatures and might leave marks on the glass when used after a long time and cause uneven wear.
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Old 20th October 2012, 10:55   #302
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Safe Driving in the Rains

I was driving through some water and rains, when I noticed that the feel of the brakes had become very different. Instead of the progressive usual action, they did nothing at first, and at one point, bit in hard (the way you feel when you use disc brakes for the first time)
any idea why ?
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Old 20th October 2012, 11:33   #303
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Safe Driving in the Rains

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Originally Posted by greenhorn View Post
I was driving through some water and rains, when I noticed that the feel of the brakes had become very different. Instead of the progressive usual action, they did nothing at first, and at one point, bit in hard (the way you feel when you use disc brakes for the first time)
any idea why ?
I'm guessing that water must have entered in between the rotors and brake pads and is causing the loss of friction while braking. The water is then squeezed out as you hold on to the brakes, after which they suddenly engage. It is generally advised that the brakes be pumped a couple of times to squeeze out excess water from the pads and/or rotors after driving the vehicle through wet conditions. Maybe you can also direct water at high pressure to the brake pads or its casting and possibly remove any dirt or grime that has accumulated there over time.
Again, I'm just guessing here.
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Old 20th October 2012, 11:43   #304
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Safe Driving in the Rains

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Originally Posted by Vivek Jayan View Post
Try wetting the windscreen and wiping it clean with a newspaper. Apart from your wipers being old, it could also be some sort of waxy residue.
This residue could also be from the wipers. Wiping with a newspaper (the regular one, not the glossy one) should help keep it clean.

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Originally Posted by greenhorn View Post
I was driving through some water and rains, when I noticed that the feel of the brakes had become very different. Instead of the progressive usual action, they did nothing at first, and at one point, bit in hard (the way you feel when you use disc brakes for the first time)
any idea why ?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vivek Jayan View Post
I'm guessing that water must have entered in between the rotors and brake pads and is causing the loss of friction while braking. The water is then squeezed out as you hold on to the brakes, after which they suddenly engage. It is generally advised that the brakes be pumped a couple of times to squeeze out excess water from the pads and/or rotors after driving the vehicle through wet conditions.
Your guess is bang on, it must be the water. While driving through rains should not cause a loss of braking, driving through water (where your wheels are partly submerged) surely renders the brakes ineffective. Slowing down to manageable speeds in waterlogged sections and once you are out, pumping the brakes a few times helps restore the braking power.
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Old 19th February 2013, 15:49   #305
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Safe Driving in the Rains

I had my first (rather chilling !), experience of aquaplaning a few months ago, while driving back in my Xylo from Udaipur to Bangalore, on the Belgaum - Chitradurga stretch on NH4 (I had a 2 day break in Mumbai).

I was driving on a straight, level and smooth stretch of the highway. It was raining heavily, and I could see sheets of water on the road. I gradually reduced my speeds to 70 to 75 kmph, and was maintaining this speed for about fifteen minutes or so, and then all of a sudden it happened. The symptoms were as follows:

- I noticed a sudden loss of feel / connect with the road, manifesting as a complete reduction of NVH on the steering (steering wheel vibrations associated with road roughness vanished all of a sudden). I also realised that my car was not responding to the micro steering inputs that one usually gives while driving on the highway. There was an eerie smoothness of the car gliding forward without any control. I say eerie because when I briefly turned around, I saw all the 3 generations of my folks blissfully enjoying their post lunch nap, the cabin totally quiet, with my 2 ton beast gracefully slipping ahead without any control whatsoever.

- Thanks to TBHP inputs, the thought "AQUAPLANING!" hit my mind immediately. I gently eased off on the throttle, did not move the steering much, luckily there were no obstacles, and I started feeling the road once again at around 50 kmph.

We stopped for the rain to subside, and resumed the journey after a fuel and tea break !
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Old 19th February 2013, 18:32   #306
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Safe Driving in the Rains

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Originally Posted by mooza View Post
I had my first (rather chilling !), experience of aquaplaning a few months ago, while driving back in my Xylo from Udaipur to Bangalore, on the Belgaum - Chitradurga stretch on NH4 (I had a 2 day break in Mumbai).
Thank God you escaped that without incident! What do you think was the reason for the hydroplaning? Were your tires nearing the end of their lives? Especially the rear ones?
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Old 19th February 2013, 21:20   #307
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Safe Driving in the Rains

So many people claim to have aquaplaned!

mooza, you most certainly did aquaplane!
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What do you think was the reason for the hydroplaning?
You need enough water on the road surface, and enough speed. You cannot aquaplane on a road surface that is simply wet (hence many of the incorrect claims): you need solid water. You can only skid on a wet surface.

Solid water gets between the tires and the road, and then you might as well be on ice.

I'm sure mooza will agree... Once is enough! We were both lucky to be on a straight stretch of road, although, in my case the car swerved slightly to the left. As I had a vehicle on either side of me, and speeds were more like 80MPH (UK motorway) It was a nasty moment.

And all my passenger said was, "did you mean to swerve then?" As a non-technically-minded non-driver, there wasn't a way for me to explain. Probably better she never knew!

In a flash storm, sometimes you just can't slow down soon enough.
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Old 26th February 2013, 23:30   #308
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Safe Driving in the Rains

Quote:
Originally Posted by mooza View Post
I had my first (rather chilling !), experience of aquaplaning a few months ago, while driving back in my Xylo from Udaipur to Bangalore, on the Belgaum - Chitradurga stretch on NH4 (I had a 2 day break in Mumbai).

I was driving on a straight, level and smooth stretch of the highway. It was raining heavily, and I could see sheets of water on the road. I gradually reduced my speeds to 70 to 75 kmph, and was maintaining this speed for about fifteen minutes or so, and then all of a sudden it happened. The symptoms were as follows:

- I noticed a sudden loss of feel / connect with the road, manifesting as a complete reduction of NVH on the steering (steering wheel vibrations associated with road roughness vanished all of a sudden). I also realised that my car was not responding to the micro steering inputs that one usually gives while driving on the highway. There was an eerie smoothness of the car gliding forward without any control. I say eerie because when I briefly turned around, I saw all the 3 generations of my folks blissfully enjoying their post lunch nap, the cabin totally quiet, with my 2 ton beast gracefully slipping ahead without any control whatsoever.

- Thanks to TBHP inputs, the thought "AQUAPLANING!" hit my mind immediately. I gently eased off on the throttle, did not move the steering much, luckily there were no obstacles, and I started feeling the road once again at around 50 kmph.

We stopped for the rain to subside, and resumed the journey after a fuel and tea break !
Whew! You were definitely lucky! After seeing how crazy the driving is on the highways, good idea to stop and let the rain subside.

One trick I use when I see a water ponding on the road where I might hydroplane (aquaplane) is to lift off the accelerator and slow down somewhat before hitting the patch of water. In front wheel drive cars, I'll slightly accelerate leaving the water. If you look far enough ahead, you may even be able to use the brakes to slow down, but be sure to let off of them well before the patch of water.
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Originally Posted by Vivek Jayan View Post
What do you think was the reason for the hydroplaning? Were your tires nearing the end of their lives? Especially the rear ones?
Tire tread depth is only one part of the picture. Tread design has a lot to do with it too. I'm sure the tires are designed more for the rugged driving necessary in India versus highway cruising and high-speed water expulsion like here in the US. But if any of the tires were worn, it would be best to be the front ones. If the rears are hydroplaning, that would result in an oversteer situation at high speed--something most drivers in the world can't get out of safely. Better to understeer like the driver experienced.
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Old 27th February 2013, 11:01   #309
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Safe Driving in the Rains

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Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post
So many people claim to have aquaplaned!

You need enough water on the road surface, and enough speed. You cannot aquaplane on a road surface that is simply wet (hence many of the incorrect claims): you need solid water. You can only skid on a wet surface.

Solid water gets between the tires and the road, and then you might as well be on ice.
It is very hard to do Aquaplaning with SUVs as it depends on the weight and the surface that comes in contact with road/water. It is quite easy to do that with 2 wheelers and small cars. I did that in my motorcycle days with not-so-disastrous results. Some times when you hit a large body of stagnant water, you might lose control - albeit briefly for a few seconds. But that is not due to Aquaplaning. Your front wheel momentarily rides up leaving you with little 'purchase' on the surface.
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Old 27th February 2013, 13:36   #310
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Safe Driving in the Rains

Couple of weeks ago, I was on a regular weekend motorcycle ride to Lavasa (ghat roads outside Pune). The road surface there is absolutely impeccable. However, there was a slight drizzle. Now there's an ST bus that goes up and down the Lavasa ghats every day. The blighted thing had left a steady, unbroken trail of oil all the way. As we know, oil shows up in rainbow colours when the road is wet. I avoided the oil trail throughout, but at one hairpin (I was at walking pace, no more!) I managed to cut across the trail just when I throttled out of the apex, resulting in a slow-motion lowside.

However, on a three-day ride through torrential downpours late in the monsoon, I had no issues cornering on ghat roads! On much older tyres than the ones I have now. Completely uneventful ride.

Food for thought: The first few rains haven't enough time to wash off oil and debris from tarmac. Also, oil tends to form a uniform layer above the water (oil floats on water, Physics-101). Would this make it harder for a tyre to break the surface and make contact with the ground? Thus increasing chances of hydroplaning in the first rains?
Just something I thought about while straightening my bent footrest that weekend

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Originally Posted by Prowler View Post
It is quite easy to do that with 2 wheelers and small cars. I did that in my motorcycle days with not-so-disastrous results.
Wow, I would say you were unbelievably lucky to have "not-so-disastrous" results!

Cheers,
Rahul
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Old 27th February 2013, 20:15   #311
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Safe Driving in the Rains

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Originally Posted by Prowler View Post
It is very hard to do Aquaplaning with SUVs as it depends on the weight and the surface that comes in contact with road/water.
As I said, mostly aquaplaning is actually skidding. However, when it happens it can happen to any vehicle: you just need sufficient speed and sufficient water.
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Old 15th June 2013, 22:55   #312
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Safe Driving in the Rains

Well, I experienced one of the worst Aqua/hyrdo planing a couple of weeks back when I was driving down from Chennai to Coimbatore along with my dad.

Me and my dad were enjoying the ride and as we reached Salem it started to rain, I did slow down..but something else was awaiting us....the irony was 10 minutes before I experienced the floating sensation, I was checking with my dad if he knew about hyrdoplaning and he was like what is that? I told him basically the car looses traction with the road and it literally floats on water and it's very dangerous. 4 kms before Perundurai there was stagnant water near a turning and I was sticking to the left lane as I noticed that in certain areas there was water stagnation on the right lane. but to my luck in this particular spot even the left lane had quite some water and I lost complete control and the car started to slide to left lane.. it all happened in a split second and I immediately turned the steering and boy, my Fiesta felt like a boat. I had to take some decision and hence tilted to the right, this helped as there was even more water in the on the right lane and car began to float before both the right side tires hit the median hard. I checked with my dad, he was fine and my insistence on wearing a seat belt helped a lot and he understood the importance of seat belts at that very moment. Coming back, it was a tremendous sound that I heard, but did not panic and parked the car on the service lane. By gods grace there were no vehicles behind us or before us... Got down to inspect the damage and first thing I noticed was both the wheel caps were missing and the front rim and disc brakes were jammed and rear wheel also was a bit inside. Called up Bajaj Allianz 24 hrs assistance and they did a wonderful job and a tow truck arrived in an hr

Trust me hydroplaning can happen to any vehicle. Take a look at this video and my incident is similar to what happened to the car in the video in almost all aspects, this car enters a turn and...


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As I said, mostly aquaplaning is actually skidding. However, when it happens it can happen to any vehicle: you just need sufficient speed and sufficient water.
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Old 17th June 2013, 19:31   #313
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Safe Driving in the Rains

Hi Team,

Experience a similar thing yesterday, on the Mumbai Pune express highway and add to that a moron with no brains what so ever!!

So I was driving on the second land and was doing decent speeds. Entered a tunnel and there was a Jetta in the first lane. At the end of the tunnel the distance between me and the jetta was about 25-30 feet with me being behind. Suddenly when the tunnel ends (thats where the light adjustment happens for the eyes) the jetta suddenly splashed a huge amount of water on my windshield and the jetta driver braked and turned left (to get out of the water) right into my lane with slower speed and with water giving me zero visibility.

I braked with all my faith and thankfully my civic glided for about a second before the brakes came into play. Simultaneously I had managed to start my wiper, so the water got cleared out. As soon as I gained visibility, saw the jetta on my left and saw a Captiva which met an accident and was off the road (between the left and right lanes, divider so as to say). Gave a dirty look to the Jetta driver who looked out of senses and in Panic. So just continued on my journey.

I was travelling with my parents and I insist them to sit in the back seat so that they dont see if such incidents happen (both heart patients).
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Old 17th June 2013, 21:58   #314
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Safe Driving in the Rains

Wait: not so fast with the dirty looks!

He didn't expect the water, neither did you.

You were too close, both in terms of getting in that spray and in terms of your stopping distance if something happened in front of you ---which it did.

What's "decent speeds?" Even at 32km/hr you should have been 40ft away, and distances should be much increased in wet weather.

Please study this:
stopping.pdf

But theory is theory: your experience tells you that you were too close.
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Old 18th June 2013, 11:42   #315
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Safe Driving in the Rains

Tried the tobacco method this weekend. Put tobacco in a plain handkerchief, dipped in water and then rubbed it on glass. Made sure tobacco water was applied. But somehow nothing happened when we drove in rains.

Rain-X is available on snapdeal for around 800 I guess. They currently have an offer of buy one get one free. Claims to be imported from USA. I am planning to buy this one. I need it around door windows and side mirrors more than windshield. Rain drops collected on windows somehow make me uncomfortable while driving, hampering visibility.
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