It’s a common fact that South Africa has one of the worst vehicle accident rates in the world, with 14,071 people dying on South Africa’s roads during 2016, according to the Automobile Association (AA). One of the contributing factors to these shocking statistics is the manner in which motorists drive on the road, especially when there are adverse, weather-related- conditions affecting visibility and vehicle performance. However, there is no need to despair, as there are ways to safely navigate these treacherous conditions.
Here are some tips on how to drive in wet, stormy and windy weather:
Take it Easy
South African drivers tend to be in a hurry when driving, which is always a recipe for disaster in bad weather conditions. Make sure that you slow down considerably when the roads are wet, windy or visibility is poor or even pull over to the side of the road if conditions are particularly hard to drive in. Sometimes, waiting a few minutes, instead of rushing to your destination, is the safer course of action when it is rising.
Give other Vehicles Additional Space
As a general rule, it is always advisable to always keep a healthy distance between your vehicle and other vehicles when driving. This rule is magnified even further in rainy conditions when you require extra space to potentially avoid unforeseen circumstances. As such ensure you add an extra one to two seconds of following time, which will give you the crucial bit of extra time you need to react.
Turn your Headlights On
Whenever light is diminished due to fog or stormy weather should turn on your headlights throughout your journey. Doing so will ensure that your vehicle is far more visible to other drivers, and this will allow them to be more aware of your vehicle and react better should weather conditions cause a mistake on the road.
Maintain a firm grip on the wheel
It might seem like obvious advice, but it is critical that you are more vigilant about keeping both of your hands on the steering wheel whenever the weather is affecting your safety on the road. This action will enable you to better control tricky situations that can arise during these times such ass slippery roads or vehicles spinning out of control.
Beware of Larger Vehicles
Many major accidents during rainy and windy weather can be attributed to larger vehicles such as trucks, recreational vehicles and tractor-trailers. Take care to avoid these vehicles or even give them right of way, as being involved in an accident with one of these vehicles can prove to be deadly.
Anticipate Gusts of Wind
Take extra care when driving in extremely windy conditions, particularly in areas such as Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. Strong winds can surprise even the most experienced of drivers, blowing cars from their lanes and into oncoming traffic. During these times, it is best to slow down and wait for the bad gusts to dissipate.
While you can’t control the weather, you can be in control of how people using your vehicles are driving with one of our fleet management packages.
It’s a common fact that South Africa has one of the worst vehicle accident rates in the world, with 14,071 people dying on South Africa’s roads during 2016, according to the Automobile Association (AA).