Western Cape road users urged to be vigilant this winter

Motorist are urged to be cautious during inclement weather. File Picture: Leon Lestrade/Independent Newspapers

Motorist are urged to be cautious during inclement weather. File Picture: Leon Lestrade/Independent Newspapers

Published Jun 18, 2024


Motorists in the Western Cape are urged to practice vigilance this winter as winds, rain, flooding, and fog will present unique challenges.

The Western Cape Mobility Department reported that there were 19 crashes on the province’s roads from June 2 to June 9.

The Department’s Head of Communications, Muneera Allie, said while winter wardrobes are being taken out to combat the inclement weather, many seldom take the time to prepare their vehicles and take precautions for overall road safety.

“Tailgating, speeding and high beams are not only problematic in general, but these driver behaviours also present unique challenges in dark, wet and misty weather conditions on Western Cape roads. Winter driving can be unpredictable and demanding, requiring drivers to be extra vigilant and prepared for various challenges such as flooding and poor visibility,” Allie said.

The department gave some safety tips for motorists:

– Check your wiper blades to ensure the windscreen can be cleaned effectively.

– Check your tyres to ensure they have adequate tread for better traction on the road.

– Check that your headlights, brake lights, and indicators are functioning properly.

– Check that defrosters and heating equipment are in good working order.

– Increase the distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you.

– Turn on your headlights to see and be seen in dark weather conditions. Avoid using high beams as they reflect off wet and foggy conditions and can temporarily blind other drivers.

– Slow down when it rains.

– Avoid sudden braking, as this may cause your car to skid.

– Avoid driving through deep puddles or flowing water if possible.

– Be aware of other vehicles in the rear and blind spot areas, as it can be difficult to see through wet side windows and side mirrors.

Due to poor visibility, pedestrians and cyclists need to be extra cautious during winter.

Tips for pedestrians and cyclists:

– Wearing bright-coloured and reflective clothing is essential to improve visibility.

– Avoid dark roads, particularly at night.

– Put as much distance between the road and yourself as possible.

– Use designated pedestrian crossings, pavements, and cycle lanes, facing oncoming traffic where possible.

During stormy weather or heavy rains, avoid driving, walking, or cycling if possible.

“Provincial Traffic Officers conduct regular operations across the Western Cape and are on high alert over the dangerous and hazardous winter period. The Western Cape Government strongly encourages all road users to be vigilant and take the necessary precautions when out and about during winter. Let’s make this winter season safer for everyone,” Allie said.

[email protected]