After a brief respite over the last few weeks, load-shedding returned with a vengeance last week, as planned rolling blackouts were implemented across the country. Unfortunately, with Eskom’s current energy output unable to meet the country’s demand and a shortfall expected for at least a couple more years, it seems as if load-shedding is here to stay.
Complicating matters further is the recent deluge of rain experienced throughout much of the country. In light of this problem, it is critical to know what to do when you are driving and load-shedding occurs.
Treat traffic lights as stop streets
When load-shedding strikes and the traffic lights go out, it is critical to treat every traffic light as a stop street, and most importantly, to have patience and proceed with caution. Doublecheck every path that crosses yours before driving off and rather take a bit more time if you are unsure whether it’s safe or not.
Make sure you ease your frustrations
During periods of increased traffic and interruptions on the road, driver frustration usually increases tenfold. One of the best ways to ensure you’re safe during load-shedding is to remain calm and patient and to not let your frustrations get the better of you.
To this end, always remember to let other drivers in, take deep breaths, listen to some soothing music and use navigational apps such as Google Maps or Waze to see which route has the least congestion. If possible, it is also recommended that you only get on the road after peak driving hours.
Treat the points people with respect
Despite the fact that points people are extensively used during load-shedding to ease traffic concerns, many motorists still tend to disregard these officials. It is important to show respect and appreciation for points people directing the traffic. Always remember that the point people are there to help and have a huge task in front of them. Ultimately, without these officials, the situation would be even worse.
Be aware of your surroundings
During load-shedding periods, it is vital to be extra aware on two fronts. Firstly, you should be more alert to the driving actions of others, as, besides major traffic, you are likely to encounter impatient drivers who could risk your safety on the road. Secondly, you should be aware of hijackers and “smash and grab” criminals as well, as they may take advantage of the situation and distracted drivers.
Change your usual driving habits
Increased traffic, wet weather and more uncertainty on the road mean that you should also shift the manner in which you drive: make sure that keep a safe following distance, adjust your speed according to the conditions and give yourself more time to arrive.
How to stay on top of load-shedding
Make sure that you’re always in the know when it comes to load-shedding by downloading apps to your mobile device. If you have an Android device, you can download Load Shedding Notifier from the Play Store, and if you’re using an Apple device, you can download EskomsePush from the Apple Store.
Use Cartrack’s superior fleet management solutions
As a trusted and leading provider of fleet management solutions, Cartrack can help you ease concerns related to load-shedding. Our advanced technology and mapping system will allow you to identify increased areas of traffic, which means you can largely avoid many of the load-shedding frustrations.
After a brief respite over the last few weeks, load-shedding returned with a vengeance last week, as planned rolling blackouts were implemented across the country.