Updated 05 August 2015

Windy weather a toughie for Cape Town drivers

Capetonians have been hit by the infamous South Easter which has been blowing at up to 50 kilometres per hour and resulted in the closure of some main routes. We look at tips to help you drive safely in windy weather conditions.

A News24 article reports that some of the main routes in the Western Cape have been closed on account of the weather.

The Huguenot Tunnel near Worcester in the Western Cape is among the routes that were closed after four trucks over turned in the area. This was as a result of the forceful winds the Mother City has been experiencing this week.

This is what Cape Town social media said:

We looked into some basic road safety tips that may come in handy for motorists who have no choice but to drive in windy conditions:

1. Keep both hands on your steering wheel

This will help you to keep control of the vehicle should you be hit by a sudden forceful gust.

2. Drive at a slow speed

Driving slowly gives you more control and time to respond should you come into contact with a forceful gust of wind. Be aware that the wind will blow various objects, from branches to dirt and stones, into the road so driving slower means you will spot foreign objects earlier. You might also be preventing serious damage to your car if you drive more slowly over the objects. Also note that pedestrians may be blown your way if they cannot anchor themselves in the wind.

3. Keep a safe following distance from other vehicles

Because strong winds can blow vehicles off course and into your path, you need to drive cautiously and in such a way that you leave room to hit brakes should another car or object be blown into your lane. Also take caution when when overtaking trucks as driving past them can result in unforeseen gusts from the side as you pass the high-sided vehicle.

It is also important to remember to be particularly careful around bicycles and motorcycles.

4. Make sure your cellphone battery is fully charged

Because emergencies are more likely when the weather is bad, it is advisable to keep a fully charged cellphone in order to call for road side assistance or to report any mishaps.

5. Take caution when parking

To avoid damage to your car, try not to park under trees, near buildings, bridges and construction sites.

Read more:

Winter road safety tips

On the road: travel safety tips

Boy dies after being dragged by hijacked car

Sources: The AA; Health24



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