Driving tips for bad weather conditions
17 May 2018 MOTORING
By Mxolisi Mhlongo
You’ve probably had a friend or relative suggest you go for advanced driving but your finances just don’t allow you. We are going to guide you through some important basics they teach at advance driving school that will not only keep you safe on the roads, but will help reduce accidental risk and keep your car in good working condition.
Driving in rain
Driving in rain may not seem dangerous but the truth is that traffic fatalities increase during poor weather conditions. Wet roads are most dangerous right after it begins raining because the rain will mix with oil and other vehicle fluids on the roadway surface. Not only does rain create a slippery surface, but it also decreases visibility. This will most likely affect the driver near intersections. While you might drive safely during rainy conditions, what about the drivers around you?
With these defensive driving tips for bad weather conditions, you’ll always be one step ahead and ready to avoid dangers that present themselves.
-Wear Polarised Sunglasses
Wearing polarised sunglasses will increase your visibility during rainy conditions. This trick works during the day but will not work at night. Polarized sunglasses will reduce glare coming from the water and allow you to see further.
Driving in Fog
Mpumalanga and KZN have some of the most dangerous roads when driving in fog. The reason for this is because truck drivers to use the routes tend to be inconsiderate. Most amature drivers make the common mistake of putting their lights on bright when driving in fog, this not only decreases your visibility but puts other road users in danger. Honestly, we can’t give you any secrets on how to look through fog but we can tell you what to do when you’re unexpectedly caught in foggy conditions.
– Be Seen
Always keep your headlights on when driving in foggy conditions. Many people turn their lights off as they feel their headlights are blinding them from reflecting off the fog, but you essentially become invisible when this happens. Remember this, you don’t use your headlights so you can see better, it’s so others can see you. If your car is equipped with fog lights, use them.
Driving at night
Night is the most dangerous time to drive, keeping in mind that most hijackings and stone-throwing incidents at bridges happen at night. Yes, there are fewer vehicles on the road but visibility is greatly reduced and the number of intoxicated or fatigued drivers on the road increases greatly. Drunk drivers and fatigued drivers are extremely dangerous and unpredictable.
With these safe driving tips for driving at night, you’ll be prepared to deal with drunks, fatigued drivers, and the low visibility during nighttime conditions.
– Look away from the lights
Make it a point you don’t stare directly at oncoming headlights. If you can safely do so, look towards your right shoulder as the vehicle approaches. Staring at the headlights will impair your night vision, even after the vehicle has passed.
Minimising your risk from drunk drivers
Be extra cautious at all intersections driving at night. Make sure you are looking both ways at intersections, even if you have a green light. Make sure nobody is going to run that stop sign. If you have been sitting at a red light and it just changed to green, look both ways . Everyone knows that reaction time for drunk drivers is vastly decreased, so the chances of them running a light soon after it changes to red are quite likely. If any oncoming vehicles are in the left turn lane, make sure they aren’t going to turn in front of you. Slow down and leave yourself an out in case they cut you off.