N3 Toll Concession | Winter Travel Advisory | 24 June 2022
Preparedness is paramount to a safer N3 Toll Route this winter season
With the winter school holiday starting today, N3 Toll Concession (N3TC) is expecting a steady increase in leisure travellers making their way to various holiday destinations along the N3 Toll Route. Holidaymakers, commuters and transport operators have an equal responsibility to guard their own safety on the country’s roads.
Driver negligence and speed cause for concern
A total of 490 crashes were reported on the N3 Toll Route between January and May 2022.
Of these, the majority (63%) were single-vehicle crashes attributed directly to driver negligence, with speeding and drivers losing control of their vehicles, identified as a major cause of most crashes.
A further concerning trend is the number of crashes involving public transport vehicles which are often very serious or fatal. Nearly 20% of the crashes involving public transport vehicles were fatal.
Ability to adapt to changing road and weather conditions
“Stay alert and be patient, obey the rules of the road, and always ensure that vehicles are maintained in good mechanical order. Drivers are advised to pay attention to changing road and weather conditions and to adapt their driving styles accordingly. Remember to slow down, increase following distances, and switch headlights on, especially when visibility is poor or roads are wet; take extra care in construction zones and around crash scenes,” explains Thania Dhoogra, N3TC’s operations manager.
Road users are advised to be prepared for high winds, mist and freezing temperatures along most parts of the N3 Toll Route. Cold fronts may bring icy weather, sleet and snow, especially in high-lying areas.
These conditions place extra pressure on drivers and may lead to delays as roads become hazardous and congested.
N3TC and all other road incident management services are on high alert to mobilise at short notice should the need arise to assist with clearing of the road surface in the eventuality of snow or the formation of black ice.
“Motorists can assist emergency services by being ready for any eventuality. Ensure that you have extra blankets, food, refreshments, a torch and emergency medication in your vehicle. These items may help to keep you safe and comfortable in the event of an emergency,” advises Ms Dhoogra.
The threat of destructive veld fires also increases during the winter months, particularly from July to October. Road users are requested to immediately report smoke or veld fires to N3TC’s 24-hour helpline on 0800 63 43 57 and to take every precaution not to start fires during the dry season.
“Drivers should immediately adopt defensive driving techniques when approaching fire or smoke across the road. Proceed with caution if visibility remains good, but if there is heavy smoke from the fire obscuring visibility, it is advisable to rather pull off as far away from the road as is possible – _before_ reaching the smoke. Please do not panic and attempt to stop, reverse or alight from your vehicle,” warns Ms Dhoogra. “This could cause a serious crash and further risks.”
Best to travel during daytime
Many motorists believe it to be safer to undertake long road trips at night because of reduced traffic. However, driving at night presents unique challenges and increased risks. These include reduced visibility, compromised night vision, a phenomenon known as “drowsy driving”, as well as a diminished ability to judge speed and distance.
Criminals may also use the cover of darkness for their nefarious activities, making it unsafe to stop next to the road in the event of vehicle trouble or fatigue.
“If you have no choice but to travel at night, we urge you to exercise caution, to plan your routes carefully, and to only stop at service stations or truck stops. It is also a good idea to let others know which route you are taking and when you should be expected at your destination.”
Report problems and only share verified information from sources you can trust
N3TC advises road users to always be prepared for any situation by obtaining official, verified traffic information from the 24-hour N3 Helpline on 0800 63 43 57 or by following @N3Route on Twitter for regular traffic updates about the N3 Toll Route.