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WATCH: Remember that Mazda that was swallowed by a huge sinkhole? Here's why Centurion is sinking

2018-08-28 11:42

Janine Van der Post,Robin Classen

Image: First Road Group

Sinkholes in South Africa can have a devastating effect on roads, infrastructure and property. Earlier in 2018, Wheels24 reported on a huge sinkhole opening up in Centurion.

Images posted on Twitter (posted later in this article) show a white Mazda swallowed by a huge gaping hole in the road. Fortunately the driver escaped unharmed.

Are sinkholes becoming more prevalent in Centurion? Carte Blanche investigates in a recent programme.

Carte Blanche reports: "More than 30 sinkholes have appeared in Centurion in the last year. Centurion and large parts of Gauteng are underlayed by dolomite rock that becomes water soluble over time."

Carte Blanche spoke to Dr Matthys Dippenaar, an engineer and geologist, who said that ageing infrastructure combined with the volatile climate are major contributors to the appearance of these sinkholes.

As heavy rain and adverse weather conditions continue to affect large parts of the country, we've included advice for motorists dealing with flooded roads at the end of this article.

Watch the video below: 

Below are tips for dealing with heavy rain and flooded roads: Info by MasterDrive

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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