SA Road Trippin’ Tricks & Truths

  • If it looks like a long way on the map, then on the actual road it is bloody far … as in … to hell and gone.
  • If you’ve ever thought yourself dedicated to a cause, you can still learn from the traffic departments in the Western Cape. Their dedication to photography is nothing short of astounding.
  • The Western Cape also possibly has the world’s largest collection of completely unnecessary traffic lights.
  • If we had as much tar to fill potholes as we have for building speed bumps, our roads would be a pleasure.
  • Keep your cell connected to the car charger. That way you can carefully pull it back from wherever it has flown to, if you recover from hitting that speed bump in what you thought was a 120km/h zone.
  • If your phone is not connected to the charger, keep it under your left thigh. That way it won’t fly anywhere, you’ll know where it is and it’s especially effective in curbing the desire to check it every 5 minutes.
  • Pairing a new Bluetooth headset to your phone while driving can easily take 150kms.
  • Don’t move your lip balm from its original location. Looking for it while driving is frustrating and can easily take three hours.
  • There is nothing as disheartening on the open road as patiently waiting for a safe spot to overtake an enormous truck only to see the next truck a few hundred meters away. Damn!
  • If you have driven for several hours getting stuck behind several vehicles travelling at way below the speed limit, you’ll eventually start understanding that a lack of speed can be as deadly as an excess.
  • There really should be a minimum speed limit on national roads as well. The person driving 160 in the 120 zone is really much less of a bother than the person driving 60 in the 120 zone.
  • Frustration and impatience kill more people than speed – try to not be the person causing the frustration.
  • Drive as if you are going somewhere – if you want to admire the scenery, do so while someone else is driving.
  • Even if you have waited 30 minutes for a safe place to overtake the first truck, that same truck will try to overtake you and the next truck while you again wait patiently for a safe place to overtake.
  • Most trucks think they’re invincible and will easily overtake you on a double lined double blind … You, however, are not invincible.
  • If someone has caught up to you from behind while you are not caught up behind traffic yourself, it means that they are travelling faster than you and you should allow them to overtake you. If you cannot understand this simple principle, you are too stupid to operate a vehicle.
  • While driving you are supposed to be aware of all the surrounding traffic, including vehicles behind you. If you wait for the car behind to reach you and slow down before giving way, don’t be surprised if the guy overtaking you isn’t overly grateful. Your lack of awareness causes a waste of time and fuel for others.
  • Also if it takes you that long to notice a car behind you, your responses are too slow to drive safely.
  • I like to drive after dark, but if you don’t know exactly where you’re going darkness is a bugger.
  • Road signs are generally useless: They only indicate where you could possibly end up and give you no idea of where the hell you are.
  • After 12am road rules are soft – if you see any cops rushing in your direction, don’t worry. They’re on their way to the accident you passed a few minutes ago.
  • Of all the scary things on South African roads, nothing is quite as shocking as the price of petrol.
  • If you approach Joubertina from the Oudtshoorn side at any time from Friday to Sunday you are in the zone where you are most likely to hit a drunk pedestrian. Be careful.
  • Finally, there comes a time in a person’s life when you feel as if you should risk your life for the sake of your sanity. Don’t let that urge get you while driving. Skydiving is a much better option.

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