With the winter school holidays already in full swing, a steady increase in leisure travellers making their way to various holiday destinations along the N3 toll route is expected.
According to the N3 Toll Concession (N3TC), a total of 490 crashes were reported on the N3 toll route between January and May 2022.
Of these, N3TC said the majority (63%) were single-vehicle crashes attributed directly to driver negligence, with speeding and drivers losing control of their vehicles, identified as a major cause of most crashes.
The N3TC said a further concerning trend is the number of crashes involving public transport vehicles which are often very serious or fatal. Nearly 20% of the crashes involving public transport vehicles were fatal.
Thania Dhoogra, N3TC’s operations manager, has urged motorists to stay alert and be patient, obey the rules of the road, and always ensure that vehicles are maintained in good mechanical order.
“Drivers are advised to pay attention to changing road and weather conditions and to adapt their driving styles accordingly. Remember to slow down, increase following distances, and switch headlights on, especially when visibility is poor or roads are wet; take extra care in construction zones and around crash scenes,” she said.
Dhoogra advised road users to be prepared for high winds, mist and freezing temperatures along most parts of the N3 toll route.
She said cold fronts may bring icy weather, sleet and snow, especially in high-lying areas.
“These conditions place extra pressure on drivers and may lead to delays as roads become hazardous and congested.”
She said the N3TC and all other road incident management services are on high alert to mobilise at short notice should the need arise to assist with the clearing of the road surface in the eventuality of snow or the formation of black ice.
“Motorists can assist emergency services by being ready for any eventuality. Ensure that you have extra blankets, food, refreshments, a torch and emergency medication in your vehicle. These items may help to keep you safe and comfortable in the event of an emergency,” said Dhoogra.
She said the threat of destructive veld fires also increases during the winter months, particularly from July to October. Dhoogra said road users are requested to immediately report smoke or veld fires to N3TC’s 24-hour helpline on 0800 63 43 57 and to take every precaution not to start fires during the dry season.
Best to travel during daytime
Dhoogra said many motorists believe it to be safer to undertake long road trips at night because of reduced traffic. However, she warned that driving at night presents unique challenges and increased risks.
“These include reduced visibility, compromised night vision, a phenomenon known as drowsy driving, as well as a diminished ability to judge speed and distance.
“Criminals may also use the cover of darkness for their nefarious activities, making it unsafe to stop next to the road in the event of vehicle trouble or fatigue.”
She said if you have no choice but to travel at night, we urge you to exercise caution, to plan your routes carefully, and to only stop at service stations or truck stops. It is also a good idea to let others know which route you are taking and when you should be expected at your destination.
Report problems and only share verified information from sources you can trust
N3TC advises road users to always be prepared for any situation by obtaining official, verified traffic information from the 24-hour N3 Helpline on 0800 63 43 57 or by following @N3Route on Twitter.