Winter is here, and South Africans are bracing themselves for adverse conditions on our country’s roads over the coming school holidays, and up until September at least. Are you ready to adapt your driving style save time, money and lives on our roads this winter? Here are a few top tips from the REEDS experts to get you started:
Arrive alive by slowing down
Reduce speed immediately when roads are wet or icy. Remember that the speed limit on the signs next to the road refer to ideal conditions; you should be driving much slower when it's raining.
Keep your vision field clear
Try to position yourself in a way that allows for maximum visibility. E.g. Stick to the lane with fewer cars, slow down or pull off to allow big trucks to gain some distance so you're not driving in their spray, etc. Don't drive recklessly to get in front of perceived obstacles, play it safe instead.
Be aware of standing water
Don't drive over obvious puddles - it could be hiding a pothole or a manhole. If you get in a situation where your vehicle starts to aquaplane, don't brake heavily or steer excessively. Rather attempt to slow down lightly and smoothly.
Stick to manual handling on wet terrain
Cruise control was not designed for uncertain conditions, such as wet roads. Rather stick to manual handling when it’s raining so you can adapt your speed and driving style to the conditions at hand to avoid slipping.
Play it extra safe on dirt roads
Dirt roads are unpredictable at the best of times, and doubly so in rainy weather. Keep away from flood zones, it hides dips in the road and your car vehicle will shut off if water is sucked into the air-intake valve, leaving you trapped. Approach hills slowly - slippery surfaces have an impact on traction, steering and braking. The edges of dirt roads can also give way in extreme conditions, so try to stick to the middle of the road when possible.
Following these guidelines will allow you to enjoy safe and affordable journeys on our South African roads this winter. Keep an eye on the blog in coming weeks and months for more news from inside the REEDS camp, as well as insider tips on enjoying, caring for and driving your vehicle.