With the recent unrest affecting South Africa, travelling to essential destinations has become a hazard for many people. While it is impossible to know what to expect, drivers need to know what to do to best handle any dangerous situations. The CEO of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert, provides three, easy to remember tips that all drivers should keep in mind.
If your travel plans are not essential, rather delay them. “If they are essential, spend time assessing the situation on your route before leaving. If there is unrest or your travel through a high-risk area, rather err on the side of caution and choose another route. If there is no other route that you feel confident travelling on, speak to whoever is expecting you about rescheduling or making another plan. with the exception of a medical or family emergency, no trip is worth sacrificing your safety.”
Google Maps has a function that indicates no-go areas that should be avoided. Follow this link to access the map. Be sure to use this to plan your routes and make the best decisions for your safety.
Should you unexpectedly find yourself caught up in unrest, it is essential to stay calm. “The first step might be to accept that there is a very real possibility that this could happen. Then, prepare yourself for this by having a plan on what to do in this scenario. The main objective should be to remove yourself from the danger but do not take risks on the road or endanger anyone standing in the road. If your car is damaged, worry about it later, rather focus on staying mobile and leaving the area.”
Many South Africans feel anger and resentment about the current situation. “Do not take this anger and resentment into the car with you and let it rule your decision about what to do if caught up in unrest. It is an extremely volatile situation that is likely to be worsened by expressing your anger to the protestors. Remind yourself, your personal safety is the priority and follow your plan to leave the situation with as little engagement as possible.”
It can be difficult to remember what to do in an emergency situation. “Minimise the tips to follow to three simple steps so that if you find yourself in a panic and difficult situation, you can quickly remember what to do without much effort,” says Herbert.