THE RAINY season has already hit parts of Gauteng and while it’s lovely to see the green shoots growing, the rain brings other trouble too.
Through the dry season oil and grease collects on the road surface and as soon as the rain arrives, the oil breaks free and floats to the top of the wet road. This reduces friction even more.
Here is some advice for SunLanders driving on wet roads:
- Give yourself more travel time so you do not have to rush in bad weather.
- Adjust your speed to suit the conditions but do not drive too slowly as this is just as dangerous.
- Do not use cruise control.
- Turn on your headlights.
- Brake earlier and with more caution.
- Avoid pools of water when you can.
- If you must drive through a pool of water, slow down and go through without your foot off the accelerator and brake in case there is hidden debris or potholes.
- Put more distance between yourself and the car in front of you.
- Driving recklessly and speeding increases chances of hydroplaning.
- If you hydroplane, slowly lift your foot from the accelerator but do not brake harshly or move your steering-wheel suddenly.
- Consider going for driver training on a skip pan to learn how to react if you do lose control during rainy weather.
In dry places, watch out for veld fires.
- The radio and social media will tell you which areas you need to avoid.
- Smoke reduces visibility so slow down.
- If you see smoke, turn on your headlights.
- If you cannot see through the smoke do not drive through it. Find another route.
- If you are trapped by fire, the inside of your car is safer than the outside – do not get out. Keep the windows and vents shut.
- Park on the roadside or at a place that has the least vegetation.
- Don’t believe the movies – the petrol tank is not likely to explode in a veld fire.
- When the fire has passed, and if the car is hot and smoky, cover your face and body and walk to an area where the fire has already passed.