PARTS of Mzansi are experiencing the first cold front which is expected to continue throughout this weekend.
According to forecasters, temperatures in Gauteng, Free State, KZN, Mpumalanga and Eastern Cape are expected to drop significantly and rain showers and thunderstorms will affect parts of the country as well.
Motorists in all the provinces have to cope with the challenges that the cold and wet weather will create while KZN in particular will have to deal with heavy rainfall. The CEO of MasterDrive, Eugene Hebert, gives drivers tips to better handle the weather on the roads.
“Motorists who will be travelling on wet roads should try avoid being on the roads as much as possible. If this is impossible, there are a few things one can do to reduce the risk,” says Herbert.
He said since slippery roads create ideal scenarios for accidents, motorists should increase their following distances to provide extra space to react to unexpected occurrences.
Other tips include:
Reduce your speed to suit the conditions.
Brake more cautiously and well before time.
Drive around corners more slowly.
Do not use cruise control when the roads are slippery.
Give yourself more travel time so you don’t have to rush in bad weather.
If you don’t already turn them on with every trip, ensure your headlights are switched on.
Avoid water which has pooled on the roads.
If you cannot avoid it, drive around it as much as possible and go slowly in case there is hidden debris or potholes.
If you hydroplane, slowly lift your foot from the accelerator but don’t brake harshly or move your steering wheel violently.
Temperatures are not expected to drop below freezing thus ice is not as likely.
One should always be prepared for the worst, nonetheless, and consequently be cautious in places where ice is common even if you cannot see it, like under bridges.
If you lose control don’t panic but gradually slow down and steer in the direction of the skid.
The low temperatures might also cause mist in areas prone to it. Do not switch your lights to bright as it reflects off mist and reduces visibility even more. Rather use fog lights or low beams.
Only use emergency lights if you are stationary and then ensure you are well off the road
Avoid sudden lane changes or erratic driving that another driver may not be able to react to timeously.