THE rainy season in the Philippines has started. This means that commuters face more challenges on the road aside from the need to adhere to the mandatory quarantine guidelines as they travel to and from work.
This makes motorcycles the better, practical, more reliable, and more convenient mode of transportation amid the current global health crisis. But with the onset of the rains, safety is an important aspect that riders must never take for granted.
As an advocate of road safety, Honda Philippines Inc. (HPI), the number 1 motorcycle manufacturer in the Philippines, lists some of the safety measures that riders must be mindful of when driving in the rain or along a wet road.
Give your bike a thorough inspection. Preparation is much different when you’re riding out under the sun compared to when you’re under the rain. Slippery roads make turning and braking trickier for motorcycles. Wet roads decrease the traction of the tires making any vehicle prone to skidding. This is called hydroplaning. This happens when a vehicle starts sliding uncontrollably due to the tires encountering more water than the treads can displace.
When driving at high speeds over wet pavement, the water begins to push the front tires off the ground slightly, creating a thin film between the tire and the road. That film, and the resulting separation of the road and tire, causes the driver to lose control of the vehicle. To avoid this, refrain from driving too fast. This will allow you better control over the vehicle.
Also, check your tires. Make sure that they are properly inflated with the pressure that is suitable for wet roads. It also pays to check if it needs proper treading to channel water. Brake pads, on the other hand, need to have proper padding to stop when needed.
Check your fluids, too. It may not mean big trouble under dry conditions, but when oil leaks are mixed with water, it becomes a recipe for slippery and dangerous conditions.
Gear up before going out. Before going out for a ride, make sure to protect yourself from the elements with waterproof or water-resistant gear. Remember that there is a difference between waterproof and water-resistant.
Waterproof will not allow penetration unless under a more extreme circumstance like being submerged in water. Water-resistant, on the other hand, will shed water from the surface but tend to allow water penetration after a certain period when hit with water continuously.
Meanwhile, when choosing a helmet, bear in mind that full-faced helmets provide better protection compared to half-faced helmets.
Fogging is also a concern so before your trip, wipe the surfaces of your helmet with an anti-fogging treatment. Also, try wearing your helmet with an open visor for ventilation, so it does not fog up.
Another pro-tip is bringing plastic bags or any plastic materials. Since these bags are waterproof, they can keep your phones or other valuables dry.
Plan your routes. If the rain develops into a downpour, it becomes almost impossible to drive in it. When this happens, find a shaded area and wait out the downpour before continuing your trip. Mark some favorite restaurants, rest stops, and alternate locations on your GPS, so that you can easily get to those areas when needed. It will also help you avoid flood-prone areas.
It pays to be slow. Most accidents happen because the rider is driving too fast. Riding in wet conditions requires extra caution, thus, it pays for riders to drive slowly. This allows for better reaction in the event of sudden stops by other vehicles.
With these simple precautions and safety measures, you can avoid accidents and arrive safe and sound at your destination.
Motorcycles are becoming the perfect mode of transportation for commuters as they brave through these challenging times. For HPI, your safety on the road is always a top priority. With its “ONE DREAM” campaign, Honda aims to bring this mission of road safety and responsibility to all Filipinos while allowing everyone to experience the joy of mobility that only its line-up of motorcycle models can provide.
There is a lot more to explore from Honda and its wide array of motorcycles. For more details about Honda products and promos, visit our website www.hondaph.com and follow our Facebook page, Honda Philippines, Inc. and Instagram, @hondaph_mc.