Parts of South Africa are expecting the first cold front for winter this weekend. According to forecasters, Gauteng, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and Eastern Cape temperatures are expected to drop significantly and rain showers and thunderstorms will affect parts of the country as well.
Motorists in all the provinces have to cope with the challenges that the cold, wet weather will create while Kwa-Zulu Natal in particular will have to deal with heavy rainfall. The CEO of MasterDrive, Eugene Hebert, gives drivers tips to better handle the weather on the roads. “Motorists who will be travelling on wet roads should try avoid being on the roads as much as possible. If this is impossible, there are a few things one can do to reduce the risk,” says Herbert.
- Slippery roads will create ideal scenarios for accidents, thus increase following distances to provide extra space to react to unexpected occurrences
- Reduce your speed to suit the conditions
- Brake more cautiously and well before time
- Drive around corners more slowly
- Do not use cruise control when the roads are slippery
- Give yourself more travel time so you do not have to rush in bad weather
- If you do not already turn them on with every trip, ensure your headlights are switched on
- Avoid water which has pooled on the roads.
- If you cannot avoid it, drive around it as much as possible and go slowly in case there is hidden debris or potholes
- If you hydroplane, slowly lift your foot from the accelerator but do not brake harshly or move your steering wheel violently
- Temperatures are not expected to drop below freezing thus ice is not as likely
- One should always be prepared for the worst, nonetheless, and consequently be cautious in places where ice is common even if you cannot see it, like under bridges
- If you lose control do not panic but gradually slow down and steer in the direction of the skid
- The low temperatures might also cause mist in areas prone to it. Do not switch your lights to bright as it reflects off mist and reduces visibility even more. Rather use fog lights or low beams
- Only use emergency lights if you are stationary and then ensure you are well off the road
- Avoid sudden lane changes or erratic driving that another driver may not be able to react to timeously
Source – MasterDrive