October 31, 2020

Image: Motorpress

It’s that time of the year when Capetonians can’t drive properly

Winter is slowly asserting in presence on the Mother City, but for some reason, Capetonians can't drive in those conditions.

For some strangely odd reason the majority of Cape Town’s drivers have a tough time driving in the rain.

Maybe its down to not seeing the paint markings in the road clearly enough or it could even be the actions of another driver that causes a domino effect on the rest.

Many now have to adjust their driving habits. Where they once never had to use their wiperblades, contend with slippery pedals and use the heater, those things are now incorporated into daily driving for the next couple of months.

Roads will get busier

Winter is slowly asserting itself across the country as cold and wet conditions relieve the blistering summer heat until the end of the year. For now though, as the ongoing Covid-19 lockdown is still in effect there aren’t many cars on the road, which is a good thing but it is only a temporary arrangement.

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Besides the fact that roads will be busier most cars haven’t been driven in a while or driven more than 15km in total. Tyres are bound to be harder than normal due to standing for such a long period of time.

It is also worth having your lower control arm and its bushes checked because worn bushes, wet surfaces and hard braking is not a good combination. Under hard braking with worn control arm bushes, this effect can cause the wheel to slide quicker than normal. This is particularly dangerous on slippery surfaces where braking distance and traction is drastically reduced.

Tips to consider

Besides the rain, winter also brings with it flooding, fog and mist and strong winds, even snow in some parts of the country. Stronger gale force winds can be especially dangerous to light motorcycles and small compact cars like the Renault Kwid and Datsun GO.

Image: Motorpress

Driving in bad weather usually takes longer and is more stressful on the person behind the wheel. Not allowing enough time to reach your destination will only increase your stress levels and that could affect your driving as well.

Winter driving tips from Arrive Alive

  • Avoid unnecessary lane changes – Stay in one lane as much as possible.
  • Slow down. Braking takes longer on slippery roads — the slower you go, the easier it will be for you to maintain control and stop your vehicle.
  • Make sure your headlights are on.
  • Be aware that in reduced visibility conditions, drivers tend to follow the tail lights of vehicles in front of them.