South Africa is known for its unpredictable and extreme weather conditions. It is better to avoid being on the roads during these conditions, however, this is not always possible when you need to get from A to B.

If you happen to be on the roads during heavy rainfall, avoid low-lying areas as much as possible as these are prone to flash floods. Also avoid driving through large pools of water on the roads, as this could cause you to hydroplane and could lead to a collision. If you do happen to hydroplane, slowly lift your foot from the accelerator while avoiding harsh braking. It is safer to drive slowly and get to your destination safely. Leaving larger distances between you and the car in front of you will allow you more response time in case of emergencies. Always remember to turn on your headlights on in these conditions, as this way you will be more visible to other drivers.

If you feel unsafe on the roads and there is a safe place to pull over, rather do so. You can safely wait for the extreme downpour to reside before proceeding on your journey. Cars driving past you and in front of you will produce off spray on wet roads which can hinder your vision. Be prepared by ensuring that your windscreen wipers are on.

Do not drive through fast-flowing water when you are not able to correctly judge its depth. If you misjudge the situation, you risk being swept away by the current. If you are unexpectedly caught in fast-flowing water, drive slowly. Once you are through the water and safely on the other side, lightly tap your brake to help dry them off before proceeding.

If you are caught in an unexpected flash flood and feel that your car is losing grip on the road, open your car door slightly to let some of the water flow in, this will add weight to the car and allow the tyres to regain grip. If you feel like you are in danger and might be swept away, it is better to abandon your vehicle to get to a place of safety.

It is always safer to be overly cautious than to be oblivious to your surroundings. It is just as important to educate yourself on these possible scenarios and ensure that you are adequately prepared and know what to do. This information might save your life!

This article was originally published on:
https://www.womenonwheels.co.za/safety/tips-for-driving-in-severe-weather-conditions/