Winter is coming!

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With this winter upon us, the possibility of tragic road crashes are increased with the hazard of reduced visibility on our roads caused by overcast weather conditions such as rain, mist, fog, lack of light etc.

Along with the reduced visibility are unpredictable driver behaviours, including excessive or variable speeds, following too closely, distracted driving, driving under the influence of alcohol and other bad driver behaviour which increases the potential of road crashes.

Because of the ongoing problems associated with reduced visibility, emphasis on countermeasures should be second nature to road users, such as:

  • Switch on headlights on during the day - headlights can reduce the incidence of daytime crashes of four-wheeled vehicles by 10–15%. The use of car daytime running lights can also reduce pedestrian and cyclist collisions.
  • Try and invest in high-mounted brake lights, positioned on the back windscreen of cars, increase their visibility. The use of these brake lights has led to a 15–50% reduction in rear-end crashes.
  • Adding reflective strips at the back of trucks and trailers and even your regular motor vehicle.

  • As a pedestrian, always wear colourful/ bright clothing or/ and accessories to be more visible to all road users. Do not walk in the road but on the pavement. If there is no pavement, walk as near to the edge as possible, facing the oncoming traffic. Reflective armbands or reflective strips on clothing or book cases could also enhance visibility of scholars.

When driving in South Africa, it is important to consider local conditions. Many informal settlements in South Africa are situated next to highways –thereby increasing the risk of further pedestrian fatalities. Children attending schools in rural communities walk several kilometres next to the roads to and from their schools. It is important for motorists not only to concentrate on their own ability to see – but also on the ability of other motorists and road users to see them.

GRSP ZA would like to urge all drivers and pedestrians to seriously take all these measures into account when travelling the roads this season.

Please keep warm and safe this winter!

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