Many Joburgers are glad to see the considerable rainfall across the city. Though we wish the water will shift to the Western Cape sometimes, we’re grateful nonetheless. Besides adding 20 minutes to your travel time during rainy days, there are a handful of other things motorists need to take note of. Below are some tips from the managing director of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert:
- People driving too slowly: while slowing down in rainy weather is important, some drivers may take this to the extreme. Looking ahead by up to 12 seconds (where visibility permits) will enable you to quickly see these drivers and move around them where possible. If you cannot safely move around, maintain a larger following distance and patiently wait for an opportunity to do so.
- People driving too fast: do additional checks in your review mirror to quickly see when a driver like this is approaching and move out of their way if you can safely do so. If you are on the highway, avoid using the right hand lane, which is where they are more likely to be.
- Traffic lights not working: this is common when there has been a large amount of rain. Traffic lights are to be treated like four way stops but with even more caution. In larger intersections many drivers are uncertain of when to go or even reluctant to wait their turn. Never take it for granted that a driver will stop when they are supposed to.
- Flooding: avoid areas which are prone to flooding. If you do come across a section of road where there is fast flowing water rather turn around or pull over if you can safely do so. It only takes 15cm of water to lift a car off the tar.
- Hydroplaning: if you start to hydroplane slowly take your foot off the accelerator and concentrate on steering straight. Never brake.
- Skidding: if you do start to skid, do not brake but take your foot off the accelerator. Gently steer in the direction you do want to go until you regain control.
- Be patient: do not let reckless or impatient drivers take your attention away from the road. Rather accept that these drivers are inevitable and rather focus your attention on getting to your destination safely.
By Shawn Greyling (tips supplied by MotoPress)