Even though our winters are not as extreme as in other parts of the world, there are parts of South Africa where the cold winter months create different and dangerous driving conditions.
Impaired visibility due to fog, ice on the road surface and extreme windy conditions are examples of winter weather hazards that could increase your risk when travelling.
Keep these tips in mind when venturing outdoors in extreme weather conditions. They may seem obvious but can be the difference between arriving safely at your destination and not arriving at all.
- In extreme weather, it is always better to remain indoors unless it is an absolute necessity to go out.
- Follow the rules of the road! They were not designed to frustrate anyone but to rather protect us.
- When traction is compromised, whether it be because of ice on the road or rain, adjust your speed accordingly.
- Following distance is about as crucial as it gets. It is impossible to brake in time if you are driving too close to the person in front of you.
- As a rule, be gentle on the accelerator and brakes. It is harder to control a vehicle once it has starting sliding. It is better to avoid the situation completely. If you end up in a situation where your car is sliding, remain calm. Do not brake and do not accelerate.
- Slick tyres are never a good idea. Do regular inspections on your tyres to ensure that you always have the grip you need.
- Ensure that your vehicle’s lights are in proper working condition.
Your most prized skill on the road during extreme weather conditions is to be focused, conscious of what is going on around you and making sure that you follow the rules of the road.