How To Drive Safe On Icy Roads - South Africa

in Driving

Let’s face it, winter has arrived and with the season, comes severe weather conditions which can be terrifying and hazardous for motorists. These conditions are agreed to have been brought by climate change, which has shifted the odds and changed the natural limits, making certain types of extreme weather more frequent and more intense.

In the past, South Africans would not in any way be concerned about driving in winter, until last year when drivers suddenly found themselves driving in icy conditions. Like it or not, the country’s winter has changed, and it has the possibilities of being icy.

So, if you’re planning a winter trip or you’re going to be driving a lot this winter, here are driving tips to help you brave the bad weather:

Whether you’re driving a rental car or your own car, before you leave your house, perform a proper check on your vehicle. Make sure your Tyres are well inflated and are in good road condition. Make sure your car has anti-freeze, the windscreen is clean, the headlights are in working order, and that your battery is tested.

Now, you have checked your car, you have the extra mechanical equipment needed in case of an emergency, and you’re heading to your destination. But the road is icy. What do you do?

You relax. The trick is to always slow down - even if you’re in a hurry. Don’t drive fast. Should you lose your momentum, it will take your car some effort to regain it, and some major driving skill not to slide it in the process. Always drive in lower gears to improve power.

Remember to always keep a distance between you and other motorists to allow sufficient distance for braking. If you must brake, do it gently. But, if your wheels start spinning, release your foot from the brakes.

Keep the distance between you and other motorists at least three times more than your usual following distance.

Should your vehicle slide on the ice, don’t steer your wheels in the opposite direction as this might spin your vehicle. Instead, follow the direction it is steering towards, until you gain traction - before slowly correcting the steering.

Most importantly, ensure your exhaust pipe is not clogged with ice. A congested exhaust pipe could cause deadly carbon monoxide gas to leak into the passenger compartments.

The best advice for driving in bad weather, is not to drive at all. If you really don’t have to go - don’t. Stay home.

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Lwazi Mluma has 1 articles online

I am a SEO & Social Media Marketing Consultant at href="">United Vehicle Services, a South African vehicle hire company. I am a developing writer and a digital communicator with nothing but superfluous passion for brand communication.

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How To Drive Safe On Icy Roads - South Africa

This article was published on 2013/06/28