Late for work? Here's how to handle increased road traffic in SA

<i>Image: AP</i>
<i>Image: AP</i>

Drivers can be sure that with the first few months of the year there will be increased traffic on many routes. 

Those doing the school route, students driving to university and morning commutes to work all take longer in the first few months of the year due to an influx of extra drivers.

SEE: Think your ride to work is bad? Top 10 cities with the worst traffic in the world 

With this comes additional challenges for all drivers. The managing director of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert, provides some tips on how to handle the traffic in these scenarios:

When travelling a different route to a new job

• In bumper-to-bumper traffic, maintain a safe following distance.

• Avoid checking your phone because you are going slower, you need to be aware of your surroundings throughout the trip.• If you see reckless drivers, give them extra space and try move away from them if possible.

• If you struggle to remain calm in traffic, find ways to help you such as listening to calming music.

• Make a conscious effort to remain calm even when other drivers employ inconsiderate or unsafe driving behaviours.

• Listen to traffic broadcasts and avoid routes where there are problems.

• Try out different routes to find the best traffic conditions.

• Do not pressurise nervous drivers.

• If there are others that live in the same area as yourself, consider carpooling to give yourself a break from driving every odd week and save on fuel costs. First, however, check that your vehicle insurance covers you in this scenario.

When performing a school run

• Do not speed under any circumstances. MasterDrive recommends never driving faster than 30km/h near schools.

• Keep an eye peeled for children who may run into the road. This includes watching cars where children may be exiting or the other side of the road where a child might be about to cross.

• Stop for buses and other school transport.

• Avoid overtaking in a school zone but if you do pass, ensure you have plenty of time and space to do so safely.

• Look out for scholar patrol and listen to their instructions.

• Teach your children not to run into traffic and how to safely cross the road.

When driving in peak hour traffic for the first time

• Stay calm: make lane changes early to avoid having to change last minute.

• Give yourself extra time so you can arrive at your destination without rushing.

• Leave earlier to first become accustomed to the route before tackling it in heavy traffic.

• Do not use your phone while driving.

• Follow MasterDrive’s slogan of 'Drive nice, it’s contagious.' 

For those using public transport

• Avoid getting into a public transport vehicle that looks derelict.

• If your driver is being reckless, rather get out at a place where you feel safe and wait for another vehicle.

• If you are a pedestrian, dress in colours that are easy for motorists to see.

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