• It has been 13 years since rolling blackouts started in South Africa.
• The outages affect traffic and street lights.
• MasterDrive shares driving tips during load shedding.
It has been a reality since 2008 for most South Africans. The dreaded load shedding affects us in many ways, not least of which is on the roads. Traffic lights and street lights in certain areas are not functioning during load shedding and this can create dangerous situations for motorists.
Eugene Herbert, managing director of MasterDrive, has some tips on how to navigate the roads during loadshedding safely:
- Keep an eye on load shedding schedules and attempt to avoid areas experiencing outages during your travel times with apps like Google Maps.
- Give yourself additional travel time, so you avoid feeling under strain while driving.
- Do not drive in the yellow lane while waiting in congestion at a traffic light. It worsens the traffic for other motorists, makes it more dangerous to re-enter traffic later on and may incite anger from other motorists.
- While intersections should be treated as four-way stops, this does not happen, making it necessary that you double-check every path that crosses yours before going. Instead, take longer to travel than not make it across at all.
- If you find it challenging to remain calm in congestion, find ways to relax you, such as selecting relaxing music before leaving.
- Listen to points people directing traffic and give them the respect that they deserve for the help they provide.
- If another driver is displaying reckless, selfish, or any other questionable behaviour, rather ignore them and move out of their way than get upset or try to intervene.
- Loadshedding, along with the new, more substantial wave of Covid-19, is placing extra pressure on drivers. "Do not drive in a way that you may later regret. Accept that these challenges are likely to affect you and make a mental commitment to handle them safely," says Herbert.