On Tuesday 22 March at approximately 07:20, a warning was sent out to motorists via various Whatsapp groups, to warn them about an accident that took place on the N2 Ermelo road.
According to reports, four trucks and four light vehicles were involved in the collision approximately 30 kilometres outside of Ermelo. The accident caused the road to be completely closed until just after 14:00, when one lane was opened and traffic could pass through, by means of a stop-and-go. It has not yet been confirmed how many fatalities there were or how seriously the involved individuals were injured.
It was a misty morning and it is suspected that one or more of the drivers of the involved vehicles had obstructed vision.
Tips on driving safely in the mist:
• Don’t Use Your High Beams – Many drivers mistakenly believe that using their high-beams will help them see better in the mist. The truth is, using the brighter lights causes a “white wall” effect – the light reflects off the mist and makes it even harder to see.
• Slow Down – Reduce your speed, and be sure to keep adequate distance between you and the car in front of you. Mist can play tricks on your eyes and make it seem like you’re driving slower than you really are, so keep an eye on your speedometer to monitor how fast you’re really going.
• Roll Your Window Down Slightly – When you’re driving in the mist, roll down your driver’s side window a bit. It’ll help you hear what’s going on around you, and when you can’t see that well, that’s a huge help. You’ll be able to tell where other cars are in relation to you, and these audible cues will make your trip easier.
• Use the Road as a Guide – It can be tempting to use the vehicle in front of you as a visual guide, and to follow their lead. But doing so is dangerous, since they may decide to brake suddenly or swerve unexpectedly. If you need a guide of some sort, use the left edge of the road or roadside reflectors.
• Utilize Windshield Wipers and the Defroster – Because there will be a lot of moisture in the air, you may need to use your windshield wipers, as well as your defroster, to keep your windshield clear. It’s important that you maximize your visibility.
• When driving in bad weather, it’s best to avoid changing lanes or passing other cars. It can be frustrating when everyone’s moving slower and you need to be somewhere but, driving erratically when visibility is poor, is never a good idea.
The Ermelo/Piet Retief road is notorious for accidents occurring when it is misty. Please take extra care and don’t drive recklessly. Get to your destination safely!