JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – Another cold front has hit the south-western coast of South Africa and is expected to affect the whole country with gales, heavy rain, and poor driving visibility.
At least on small truck has been blown off its wheels and more might be toppled on exposed roads and mountain passes, according to MasterDrive’s MD Eugene Herbert. So, take a few minutes to refresh on how drivers should react.
First, stay off the roads if you can. If not, here’s some advice from Herbert…
“Strong winds present a number of challenges for drivers. They can make staying on a controlled course difficult, blow trees over and on to the road, blow other debris into your path, and even cause challenges for pedestrians.
“Strong gusts can catch you by surprise to affect vehicle affect handling, braking and overtaking and large vehicles can struggle even more as they catch more wind. Add these challenges to already challenging circumstances on SA’s highways and follow these tips.”
• Listen to news or read social media posts that could provide info on potentially dangerous areas and be cautious on open stretches of road, mountainous areas or roads that run under power lines.
• Never drive over a downed power lines if you do encounter the hazard.
• Avoid crossing high and exposed bridges.
• Look out for road sign warning of areas vulnerable to strong wind.
• Be alert for debris that could be blown into the road – and for pedestrians.
• Be cautious when overtaking or approaching vehicles that are towing.
• Avoid overtaking trucks and larger vehicles.
• Do not drive with an overloaded vehicle or with items protruding from the windows in strong wind.
• If you are driving and the wind becomes so strong that you feel at risk rather pull over or find a safe place to stop.
”Drive defensively the entire trip,” Herbert warns. “Defensive driving is your best strategy to survive the weather. Be alert and drive in a manner that gives you plenty of space and time to react appropriately.”