One of my friends on Facebook made a rather interesting remark yesterday. In a status update he mentioned that all the idiots appear to go onto the roads as soon as it starts raining. This is indeed a true reflection of the poor driving by most South Africans in rainy weather.
The harsh reality that many drivers drive poorly in wet weather was confirmed late yesterday evening when it was revealed by the Ekurhuleni metro police that heavy downpours in the Ekurhuleni region resulted in 21 accidents.
All these accidents were reported between 13:00 and 16:00 in Alberton, Thokoza, Katlehong, Boksburg and Germiston. The metro police advised motorists to reduce speed and keep a safe following distance.
The Arrive Alive team would like to share with visitors general safe driving tips in wet weather:
- Use the two- second rule to maintain a safe distance from the car in front of you.
- If it is raining and the roads are wet, slow down. Take your foot off the accelerator and let your speed drop gradually. Never use the brakes suddenly because this may cause the car to skid.
- If you find that an oncoming vehicle is overtaking from the opposite direction and will not be likely to do it safely, slow down and be prepared to move to the left shoulder if necessary.
- Beware of oil patches. Don’t panic. Do not jam on your brakes, just steer through. In most cases, the patches will be small.
- Always change to a lower gear before you take a bend, especially a sharp bend. Your speed should be at its slowest as you enter the bend and both your hands should be on the steering wheel. This slow in/fast out technique gives you most control when driving around a bend.
- Increase your space cushion by doubling your normal following distance from two seconds to four seconds.
- Turn on your headlights.
- Be careful of other vehicles to the rear and in blind spot areas as they are especially difficult to see through rain-spattered windows.
- Use your low-beam headlights to see and be seen. Wait a short time after the rain begins before using your windshield wipers because the blades may smear.
- Be extra careful during the first half hour after rain begins. Grime and oil on the road surface mix with water to make the road slippery.
Visit the Arrive Alive Road Safety website for more safe driving tips!