Get acquainted with South African roads


You are about to travel overseas and you already have your international driving license so your transport preparations are complete, right?  Various studies suggest this may not be quite enough to develop driver familiarisation. In New Zealand, there are less tourist vehicles, but the percentage of accidents involving tourists is much higher. In the UK the number truck accidents involving foreign drivers is eight times higher than the national average.


There are various reasons for this most of which are linked to a lack of familiarity with the roads. Which side of the road to drive on is a major factor. South Africa, England, Kenya, Australia, the Caribbean, Ireland and New Zealand all drive on the left of the road as opposed to the right. While you may remember this, it still affects road rules, like using roundabouts, and even affects steering wheel positions.

According to the MD of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert, studies also show that cultural differences affect foreign drivers. “While courteous driving is expected in South Africa, it is not adhered to as strictly as what it is in the UK. Allowing someone to enter a highway is not ‘optional’ and a taxi stopping in front of another car is unheard of.”

The UK even goes one step further by prosecuting companies who do not train foreign drivers who cause accidents. They recognise in-vehicle driver training as the most effective way to reduce incidents specifically for foreign drivers. It allows drivers to understand the different rules of the road and driving styles to expect.

Driver familiarisation 

Herbert provides some examples of skills foreign drivers can learn from a driver familiarisation courses:

  • Learn rules which are unique to South African roads
  • Become accustomed to tricky road situations like roundabouts or complex intersections
  • Reintroduce drivers to defensive driving

MasterDrive is well-placed to provide driver familiarisation. “We strive to provide training which meets international standards. Helping foreign drivers adapt their driving style to meet South African roads is a natural next step for us,” says Herbert.

To read more driver safety tips, click here

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