By Nico Strydom
Rain and poor visibility create the perfect recipe for traffic chaos.
Due to the summer rains and load-shedding that once again keeps popping up, the Automobile Association (AA) warns motorists anew to be alert on the road at all times.
“Heavy rain influences visibility and can also cause traffic lights to be out of order. The problem is exacerbated by load-shedding and power failures that result in traffic lights being out of order,” says the AA.
Soaking rain can further also cause pot-holes to appear overnight. “Small holes become big pot-holes and motorists only see them when it is too late. Motorists who swerve to avoid pot-holes also run the risk of landing in front of on-coming traffic, which could cause collissions.”
The AA warns motorists to take note that road conditions could change significantly within a few hours and that they should therefore always be prepared for new challenges.
The AA gives the following advice:
- Traffic lights not operational: Treat it like a four-way stop and remain calm, show respect for other motorists, await your turn and be especially alert for pedestrians.
- Be visible: Motorists should switch on their headlights in conditions of poor visibility, while pedestrians should wear clothes with bright, reflecting colours.
- Focus on the road: Put away your cell phone and do nothing else but driving and focusing on the road. Being distracted is dangerous in any circumstances but even more so in rainy conditions when visibility is poor.
- Windshield and wipers: Make sure your windscreen and wipers are in a good condition.
- Drive according to the road conditions: It is important to always take road conditions into account. The speed limit on a highway is 120 km/h but this does not mean it is safe to drive at this speed if the road is wet or visibility is poor.
- Don’t cross low-water bridges: Low-water bridges that are flooded must be avoided at all costs.
- Make sure your tyres are in a good condition: Damaged tyres can be very dangerous on a wet road.
- Maintain a safe following distance, especially on highways.
- Make sure your cell phone is charged in case of emergency.
- Stay out of the emergency lane and keep these lanes open for emergency vehicles.
- If you can avoid areas that cause problems during rainy weather, do so and plan alternative routes.
Automobiel Association: https://www.aa.co.za/