Living in a city like Kolkata and having to drive in the monsoons has taught me enough about driving in water-logged streets to write a “how-to”.. Now “why” I decide to take the car out (in water-logged streets) is a different question and behind the scope of this post!
But I have come to learn the following:
- As far as possible try to drive towards the middle of the road… The middle-most lane might be the longest (and the slowest!).. but the sides will be “lower”.. so the chances of the water-entering your car are higher if your on the sides.
- Keeping your windows rolled up will create moisture even on the inside of the windscreen.. (Yes!… Even if the AC is on!.. I don’t know how.. I don’t know why.. but I know it happens!).. So make sure you have a piece of cloth to keep wiping the windscreen from the inside.
- When in doubt about whether to take a road with MORE cars or to take a slightly less-crowded lane, take the former.. coz if a road / lane / by-lane has less cars what it basically means is that it is a lower-lying road and the water-level will be higher.. So the road with more traffic would be slower, but at least at least you’ll get there without drowning! (unless your car can float!)
- If you’re driving on empty water-logged streets, put your head lights, tail lights, fog lights on.
- Also, if the water-level is high and you realize that stepping on the gas isn’t helping, don’t stop the car. NO! .. Even if you’re moving at 2 kmph, keep moving at that pace.. the car is basically using the extra effort to push against the water.
- If the water-level is above waist height, and (as in the point above), your car is moving very slowly despite being on full throttle, continue moving at 2nd Gear (and pressing the accelerator FULL).
The way Kolkata’s “showpiece” IT Sector is treated in terms of infrastructure beats me! .. Basically I’ve been forced to conclude that the most water-logged parts of Kolkata include Sector V .. where all the IT companies have set-up shop!.. I wonder why no measures are taken to improve the roads and the drainage…. but that, again, is beyond the scope of this post!