A couple of days ago, Cape Town was supposed to run out of fresh drinking water. Yet the much-covered, dreaded ‘Day Zero’ came and went on 12 April without the taps, lights or civilisation going off.
Yet experts are still saying there could be a (real) running out of water in the future, in spite of the fact that people really started working hard to save water.
Weather has got crazy lately. At the same time as all this, Johannesburg is having near-unprecedented amounts of rainfall for the start of their winter – their dry season – on the opposite side of the country. In all of this, what’s a savvy GoMetropolitan to do?
Be weather wise. We’ve rounded up a couple of tips for your next work commute to keep you styling.
Five tips to get you home and dry:
Firstly, don’t get too hyped about it all
Regardless of what weird things the weather does, the rules for safe driving remain the same: keep your eyes open, seatbelt fastened and don’t speed or do anything crazy. Getting all nervous about droughts and flash floods will only result in you behaving worse on the road, so chill out.
Watch out for black ice
Both Cape Town and Joburg are expecting some bitterly cold days this winter, and with that comes black ice. Black ice is the common term for a layer of frost on the road, making it more slippery and difficult to navigate in some circumstances. Even in areas where it’s not raining, temperatures can drop to the point where morning dew on the road freezes into black ice. While this is not that much of a problem for those travelling on busier roads, where the friction of other peoples’ tyres will likely sort the problem out for you, those on quiet roads need to just take it slow and not turn or brake too sharply.
This one is for those in wetter winter weather: keep your lights on for maximum visibility in the rain, even in the middle of the day. This is not for your visibility so much as for other cars’ seeing you, and that’s really important in wet weather, where slick roads mean less margin to make mistakes.
If you’re using public transport, you need to make yourself visible too – wear some bright or light clothing. And please be cautious of where and how suddenly you hail a taxi or bus. You don’t want an accident on your conscience.
Keep it slow and steady in rain
It’s a boring tip, but a tried and tested one: slow down. A good rule of thumb? In lighter rain, drive 25% slower than you would usually, so at three quarters of your norm, while in heavy rain, you should reduce your speed to at least half what you would normally be driving. So, if you take a certain road at 60 kilmetres per hour on your normal work commute and there’s drizzle or light rain, go it at 45 kilometres an hour. If there’s heavy rain, go it at 30 kilometres an hour instead. This literally saves lives. Also, when going through a puddle or some other kind of body of water, whatever speed you’re going, slow down further.
Make sure your insurance is up to date
All bets are off for safe predictions on what the weather will do in the next month or two, according to meteorologists. This means lightning storms and even hail are a possibility, especially in Johannesburg where it’s still raining even though we’re more than halfway into April. Our advice? Make sure your house and car insurance are covered for hail damage, lightning strikes and more.
Got any tips for us to add to our winter safety list? Let us know, and keep warm!