Using technology to conquer traffic


With the country struggling with stage four loadshedding, traffic has become an even bigger nightmare for many. Added to this, projections suggest that in 18 years it could take six hours to commute between Johannesburg and Pretoria, if additional roads are not built. Whether these projections are true or somewhat exaggerated, it cannot be denied that traffic on roads across South Africa is increasing. 


The difficulty with this, is that it creates additional challenges for motorists and consequently safety on the roads. The managing director of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert, explains: “Additional time in traffic increases frustration levels which often results in greater chances of reckless driving. Drivers take chances by closing following distances, cutting in and blocking off other drivers, all increasing the risk of bumper bashings, serious crashes and road rage.


“While we strongly recommend various methods of handling chaotic traffic and remaining calm, one of the best ways to avoid the frustration is to avoid traffic all together. There are various apps that assist with this, providing real-time information on traffic conditions. These indicate how long you need to add to your trip, if you prefer to use the same route. Or if you would prefer to avoid the congestion all together, the apps can suggest alternative routes.”


Even with the help of apps to find routes with less congestion, avoiding it completely is highly unlikely. “Many newer cars have technology focused on reducing fuel consumption. For example, stop/start technology is estimated to save up to 8% in congested traffic and adaptive cruise control in flowing traffic eliminates braking or accelerating harshly. If your car has this technology, make sure you use it properly to benefit fully.”


Using traffic apps and vehicle technology can help ease the frustration caused by congestion and the effect it can have on your pocket. “Eliminating all traffic is impossible but using the different technology available to improve the challenge it creates, can reduce frustration, help save money and increase road safety,” say Herbert.


Apps to avoid traffic

  • Google Maps
  • Waze
  • TrafficSA
  • Traffic reports


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