There has been havoc around Gauteng recently with strikes and looting affecting motorists. In the latest incident, streets in Tshwane were closed following reports of looting. Many motorists were forced to find alternate routes or cancel their trips and meetings all together. If, however, you find yourself in the middle of a strike or clashes on the roads, follow these tips, provided by the MD of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert.
- The simplest way to remain safe is to avoid it all together by using alternative routes
- Listen to the news and look at alerts on social media and apps before choosing a route every trip you take
- Keep an eye out for people gathering at the side of the road or on bridges.
- Drive watching 12 seconds ahead of you so that you can identify any volatile situations immediately
- If you are forced to stop or slow down because of a protest, identify an escape route
- If you feel the situation is becoming dangerous, unbuckle your seatbelt so you can exit the vehicle quickly. The car, however, is often the safest place to be.
- Do not engage with protestors negatively
- If you are forced to get away from an area quickly, remain calm. Taking aggressive evasive action that does not account for other drivers or people on the road could be more dangerous than acting calmly and slowly
- Listen to authorities who are trained to defuse the situation and protect all citizens from harm
- Your primary consideration is your personal safety
- While it is preferable that your car does not get damaged, if you need to choose between the two, personal safety should be prioritised
- Also keep someone posted on where you are and what is happening
If you ever find yourself in this frightening situation, remaining calm is key. “The objective is to avoid the situation completely. Never let a potentially dangerous situation catch you by surprise or block yourself in when things can turn violent. South African driver should be prepared for every scenario,” advises Herbert.