The South African Weather Service (Saws) has warned of severe thunderstorms and heavy rainfall across large parts of the country. Therefore, it is important to be extra careful on roads.
Unexpected downpours may occur without warning so by following a few road safety tips, you can ensure that you safely get to your destination.
Road safety tips
WATCH: Rainy season safety
See and be seen: Remember to turn on your headlights when driving in the rain. It’s also important to reduce speed and maintain a safe following distance.
Avoid braking suddenly as your vehicle may skid on wet roads, and beware of oil patches – it’s extra slippery when mixed with water. Also, remember:
- Be aware of your blind spots
- Wait a few seconds when it starts to rain before using the wipers as dry wipers may smudge the windshield.
- Ensure wiper blades are replaced when worn down.
- Change to a lower gear when going around a bend.
Your speed should be at its slowest as you enter the bend and both your hands should be on the steering wheel.Arrive Alive
Driving in strong winds
When strong winds “get under” a car, it may results in difficulty handling your vehicle or braking properly. Arrive Alive says the impact of strong winds presents unique challenges:
- When driving in exposed areas, sudden gusts of wind could catch you off your guard when bouncing against your vehicle.
- When overtaking large heavy vehicles, strong winds could result in a sudden gust from the side as you pass by.
- Large vehicles are blown around easily as they become a sail in the wind
- Vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists and people on horseback are easy targets to be moved into the path of other road users by strong winds.
When driving in strong winds, exercise caution at all time, especially when driving on open stretches of road such as highway overpasses.
Caution is also required when crossing high, exposed bridges or gaps in hedges, and it’s advised to remain alert to falling tree branches and debris blown onto a roadway.
Beware of strong gusts when crossing intersections, and especially when driving through tunnels or mountain passes, as it can create a funnel for wind. Read more here.