Winter driving challenges

As we start to experience the cooler temperatures that come with winter, this can create challenges for drivers - like frost on the roads in the mornings, more mist and driving with sunlight in your eyes. There are ways to combat these challenges by simply making a few changes to your driving. The CEO of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert, provides some tips.

Sunrise and sunset

  • While MasterDrive recommends always driving with your headlights on, if you do not already do so, switch them on as soon as you leave.
  • Avoid the glare by taking a different route or changing the time that you leave where possible.
  • Raising your seat can also assist with reducing the glare.
  • Ensure your windscreen is clean inside and out, as the glare can severely reduce visibility when it is dirty. Do not overlook the inside of the window.
  • Polarised sunglasses help when driving into the glare.
  • Lower your visor well ahead of time so that you are not suddenly blinded.
  • Slow down. Always change your driving speed to suit the conditions not only the speed limit.

Frost and ice

  • Before winter is in its full throes, top up your anti-freeze.
  • Check that your tyres are properly inflated throughout the season.
  • Increase your following distances.
  • Brake more cautiously.
  • Go around corners more slowly.
  • Do not use cruise control when the roads are slippery.
  • In parts of South Africa where roads can become icy, drive with extra caution especially in places where this is prone, such as under bridges.
  • If you do lose control do not panic but gradually slow down by lifting your foot off the accelerator.
  • Steer in the direction of the skid.


  • Adjust your driving in the same way you would when driving during rainy conditions
  • Where possible, avoid areas prone to mist.
  • Do not switch your lights onto bright as it will reflect off the mist and reduce your visibility even more.
  • Rather use fog lights or low beams.
  • Avoid using your emergency lights when you are still moving. Someone may think that you are stationary when you are not.
  • Avoid sudden lane changes or erratic driving that another driver may not be able to react timeously to.
  • Do not pull over unless you can get well off the road and then switch on your emergency lights.