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The first rains are here! Here's how to handle the roads in wet conditions

Turn your headlights on and do not use Cruise Control!

Last night parts of Gauteng already experienced light rain showers. Drivers can expect more hazardous road conditions as the oil and grease, collected on the roads during the dry season, is now lifting and heavy rains have not washed it away yet. This makes the roads even more slippery and hazardous than during the rest of the rainy season.

The MD of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert, says if you do find your car starting to skid, follow these tips. “The most important thing is to gradually reduce your speed. Don’t brake harshly and suddenly. Keep both hands on the steering wheel. Look where you want to be. While this may seem counterintuitive, our instinct is to steer in the direction that we are looking. Thus, if there is tree in front of you, don’t look at the tree, rather look at where you want to be,” advises Herbert.

Also read: How to survive driving on the notorious N2

Follow these additional tips on the best way to handle the roads in wet conditions:

  • Check your wiper blades to ensure that they have not weathered over winter.
  • Give yourself more travel time so you do not have to rush in bad weather.
  • Adjust your speed to suit the conditions, however, do not slow down unnecessarily as this is just as dangerous.
  • Do not use cruise control.
  • Turn on your headlights.
  • Brake earlier and with more caution.
  • Avoid water which has pooled on the roads.
  • If you cannot avoid this, drive through it slowly in case there is hidden debris or potholes.
  • Leave more following space.
  • Driving recklessly and speeding increases chances of hydroplaning.
  • If you hydroplane, slowly lift your foot from the accelerator but do not brake harshly or move your steering wheel violently.
  • Consider going for driver training on a skip pan to learn how to react if you do lose control during rainy weather.

As you head home this afternoon, keep these tips in mind.

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