More road accidents on days of thunderstorms

A car driving through water on a rainy night. More accidents occur on Singapore roads on stormy days and with the monsoon season in full swing, road safety experts are advising motorists to take extra care. -- ST FLE PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
A car driving through water on a rainy night. More accidents occur on Singapore roads on stormy days and with the monsoon season in full swing, road safety experts are advising motorists to take extra care. -- ST FLE PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

More accidents occur on Singapore roads on stormy days and with the monsoon season in full swing, road safety experts are advising motorists to take extra care.

About 30 accidents take place typically on days of thunderstorms, according to traffic updates given by the Land Transport Authority (LTA).

Most of them were on expressways.

But on days of moderate to heavy showers, the number of accidents were between 14 and 26.

This pattern was derived from the LTA's Twitter feed for the past 10 days.

One of the highest numbers of accidents logged was on Monday when there were heavy showers and flash floods in parts of Singapore. At least 30 accidents were on LTA's Twitter feed. Last Monday, when heavy rain fell across the island, at least 28 accidents were logged.

Most happened on expressways such as the Pan-Island Expressway, Ayer Rajah Expressway and Seletar Expressway. Accidents were also logged along the East Coast Parkway and Bras Basah Road.

Poor visibility is inevitable during a storm.

An added risk is slippery roads, said Singapore Road Safety Council vice-chairman Gopinath Menon.

This is especially so "when you have rain after a dry period as grime, dust and oil from the roads can make them slippery, especially for motorcyclists".

Singapore's north-east monsoon season wet phase typically takes place between mid-November and January.

In the inter-monsoon season from October to November, the thunderstorms usually lash Singapore in the afternoons and early evenings.

During these times, Prof Menon, an adjunct associate professor at Nanyang Technological University, advised motorists to keep their headlights on and maintain a greater distance from vehicles in front.

The Automobile Association of Singapore also urged motorists to ensure their vehicles are well-maintained to cope with the weather. Dirty windscreen and faulty wipers, for example, can hinder visibility when it rains.

Its online advisory also said to travel slower as vehicles take longer to stop on slippery roads.

maryamm@sph.com.sg