Staying Safe this Rainy Season

The rains are here again and it is that time of year when our roads suffer lots of road mishaps and dilapidation. It is also a time when our water channels are clogged because of the amount of waste emptied into our gutters. It is a time when the streets are littered with debris from these gutters after every down pour. Worse still, it is a time when towns and communities experience not only a short supply of electricity, but also a high rate of electrocutions.

Part of the reasons why there is an increased rate of car accidents during every rainy season is the poor condition of vital aspects of vehicles like wiper blades, worn out tires and brake failure.

Blurred vision occurs when the wiper blades are old and brittle. The same is applicable to worn out tires and weakened brake systems. Worn out tires have poor grip on the road, thus making it difficult to brake; while poor brake system ensures that such vehicles cannot be stopped quickly.

Most motorists, especially commercial drivers, do not take the maintenance of their automobiles seriously, but it is expedient that they take time out to put these safety measures in check so as to avoid any mishaps on the road.

So many drivers also forget important safety tips like turning on their headlights when it is raining. This is important because it enables other drivers to see them from the other side of the road, thereby avoiding head on collisions.

A lot of cars skid while it is raining and the reason is not farfetched. When the roads are wet, there is a likelihood that they will become slippery because rain water on tarred roads is a major reason why the oil in the road rises to the surface. This in turn, makes the road slippery and wet. That is why motorists should reduce their speed limits at this time of the year, especially when it rains. Driving too fast on wet roads is as bad as following other cars too closely. When a driver is too close to the car before him, there is a chance that in any case of the car stopping abruptly, braking and controlling the steering might not be easy and a collision will likely occur.

Again, driving through the rain water that collects toward the sides of the road is another cause for motorists to slide off the road completely, thereby exposing them to the danger of colliding with oncoming vehicles or even knocking down structures and possibly killing pedestrians.

The bottom line is that so many drivers do not drive well during the rains and as such, should avoid being behind the wheels, especially during thunderstorms. This is with particular reference to people with myopia as they are more often than not incapacitated due to their blurred vision.

Drivers should understand simple road safety tips at this time of year and also, always remember to defog their windows. Most importantly, they should seek shelter during thunderstorms and lightening, especially where there are fallen power lines as water conducts electricity. When strong winds take down these power lines, there is a great chance that electrocution could occur if anyone goes close to them.

This season also has its health challenges as water is a perfect breeding ground for germs and bacteria which in turn, leads to water borne diseases which affect a lot of people. That is why there is an increase in illnesses like Malaria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A, Pneumonia, Cholera, etc. It is therefore very important to prevent stagnation of water in our environment, especially in flower pots and all sources of water, such as wells, storage tanks, etc. It will go a long way in preventing the breeding of these bacteria.

Relatively, it is that time of year when corn is mostly enjoyed, either roasted or boiled, by the roadside. These sellers should stop the habit of emptying the corn cobs and leaves into the gutters as they block the channels and affect the drainage system. They also leave the environment dirty and make it a sure breeding ground for bacteria and germs which end up spreading the water borne diseases mentioned.

Children should be encouraged to remain either at home or in their schools during heavy storms to avoid being swept away by flood, especially in cases where flood covers all gutters, making it difficult to distinguish the gutters from the roads.