LOCUST swarms were recently spotted in the Northern Cape, Eastern Cape and Western Cape, according to authorities.

The Free State has been warned to exercise caution because the swarms are expected to migrate there as well. Farmers say the swarms are not a major threat to crops just yet, but motorists are reporting a different story.

MasterDrive CEO Eugene Herbert said driving through a swarm can have a major impact on road safety.

“The main reason is because visibility can be severely affected as a large amount of the insects collide with your windscreen. A swarm of locusts can also potentially damage vehicles by blocking radiators and causing overheating,” Herbert said.

There are a number of tips to follow to increase road safety in this scenario. If your visibility is reduced drastically, slow down or even stop depending on how little you can see.

Remember, before you decide to stop it needs to be somewhere well off the road because if visibility is that badly reduced, another driver may not see your stationary car on the side of the road.

Herbert says if you do stop, turn your emergency lights on and your car off in case your radiator is clogged with insects. Also, if you have enough visibility to continue slowly, keep an eye on your temperature gauge.

Herbert recommends always driving with headlights on, but, if your headlights are off, turn them on to increase your visibility to other drivers.

Remember, if you are having difficulty seeing, so are the oncoming motorists and those behind you. Keep a watchful eye on them in case you need to take evasive measures.

Be cautious of using your windscreen wipers to clear the window as it may smudge the bugs across the window and reduce visibility further.

Motorists have also been requested to report locust swarms to the following agricultural representatives in these areas:

Eastern Cape: 041 363 1890

Northern Cape: 053 631 3122

Western Cape: 083 649 9306

Free State: 060 978 3133