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7 driving tips for dealing with heavy rain in SA

2018-03-23 07:25

Johannesburg - The South African Weather Service has issued flood warnings for Gauteng, Free State and KwaZulu-Natal.

Rainy weather usually brings a number of challenges to the roads. 

We look at ways motorists should handle heavy rain and flooded roads in SA.




Below are some tips from the managing director of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert:

1. Motorists 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 longer following distance and patiently wait for an opportunity to do so. 

2. Motorists driving too fast

Do additional checks in your review mirror to quickly spot fast approaching motorists. This will enable you to 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.

3. 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. 

4. 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.

5. Hydroplaning

If you start to hydroplane slowly take your foot off the accelerator and concentrate on steering straight. Never brake. 

6. 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. 

7. Be patient

Do not allow 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. 


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