Rainy season: Fourteen ways you can avoid road accidents_1

South Africa has been going through droughts in some provinces and a winter dry spell. The new season has promised to relieve this, but with it comes more road accidents.

Rainy season contributed to 27.1% of road accidents in 2018

Dialdirect has urged South African motorists to be vigilant. A 2018, Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTCM) report showed that poor visibility and wet or slippery road surfaces had contributed to 27.1% of the 10 564 fatal crashes on South African roads.

Environmental factors were said to be the second leading
cause of accidents after human error. Johannesburg Metropolitan Police
Department’s (JMPD) Wayne Minnaar agreed.

He revealed:

“There is definitely an increase in car accidents when the rainy weather starts. This is attributed to wet roads, poor visibility and failure by motorists to adjust their driving to the wet weather conditions.” Wayne Minnaar, Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department’s (JMPD)

Rainy season: 14 safe-driving tips

Dialdirect has offered drivers these 14 tips to stay safe while
driving during rainy weather:

Adjust speed and following distances to give yourself time to stop on wet roads. Allow 4 to 8 seconds between your car and the one in front.Always turn on vehicle’s headlights when driving in wet weather.During heavy rain, use the brightest taillight settings to improve visibility for vehicles behind.Wiper blades must be in good condition. Clean sweeps recommended to ensure maximum visibility.Avoid the build-up of fog on the inside of your car windows. Use the anti-fog features or open window slightly.Check for enough tread on your tyres to minimise chances of aquaplaning.  The South African legal limit is a minimum of 1mm of tyre tread, but anything below 3mm can increase the risk of aquaplaning.Worn shock absorbers also increases the chances of aquaplaning. It also limits the ability of ABS-systems to work efficiently, replace shock absorbers where necessary.Be extra careful when passing other vehicles, avoid spraying other vehicles with water when passing.Avoid abrupt acceleration, brake, and steering movements. Stopping and turning suddenly may result in skidding.Avoid oily patches on the road as they’re slippery.Do not drive through flooded areas unless you are sure that the water is below the bottom of your wheel rims.  If you’re driving through an area with high water levels, do so slowly in a low gear, holding the steering wheel steady.After driving in heavy rain for some time without applying the brakes or if you drive through standing water, lightly apply the brakes to dry them, especially if the vehicle is fitted with drum brakes.If you have car trouble, turn on your hazard lights and pull off the road. Place a reflective triangle on the road at a sufficient distance behind your car to warn oncoming motorists.

Head of Dialdirect advice for motorists

Maanda Tshifularo, Head of Dialdirect concluded with this advice: 

“Rainy season safety will take a proactive effort from all South African road users to avoid carnage on our roads. So buckle up and take extra precautions when driving in the wet. In the event that the unforeseen does happen, it’s wise to ensure that you have adequate insurance in place.” Maanda Tshifularo, Head of Dialdirect