It’s Friday afternoon and you’re sitting in traffic, thinking about the exciting weekend that lies ahead, when you suddenly find yourself surrounded by a chanting crowd, pelting rocks at your windows and the cars around you.

Following recent events and the upcoming nationwide protests, it’s wise to always be prepared for such an eventuality, especially if you are caught driving.

Top tips to navigating your way through protest action

According to the Automobile Association of South Africa, the first and probably most important course of action is to avoid these areas. Monitor media reports or social media updates to find alternative routes to reach your destination. You can also use the live update function on your GPS device to steer clear of these areas.

You never know when you may find yourself in a dangerous situation

Protest action can erupt without warning. It can be caused by any number of things – economic collapse, labour laws, or any other stirring incident that we simply can’t predict. The South African Police Service (SAPS) advises motorists to be vigilant at all times and if possible, rather delay your journey or find alternate routes. Other tips to keep in mind if you are travelling through areas of civil unrest:

  1. Remain in your car but be prepared to exit your car quickly, if necessary.
  2. Remain as calm as possible to ensure that you are aware of what’s going on around you.
  3. Keep your car moving as far as you can whilst checking for possible escape routes.
  4. If police are present, follow their instructions and seek assistance from them.
  5. Always keep tools and emergency supplies in your car to ensure that you are not stranded next to the side of the road if your car breaks down or you hit that unexpected pothole. Visit the Matrix website to find out more about Pothole Assist and additional Matrix service offerings.

“It’s important that anyone driving in an area that may be affected by unrest understands that the SAPS will most probably have blocked off a road to prevent entry. Listen to the police, and don’t put yourself in any danger by disobeying them. If you are in this situation, check for possible escape routes you can use, or for a police presence that you can approach for assistance,” says Captain Tsekiso Mofokeng, SAPS Gauteng Provincial spokesperson.

It’s important to plan your trips and be aware of potential dangers that you may encounter along the way. The journey can be unpredictable and having the right partner by your side can make all the difference. Your vehicle’s security is essential but ultimately, yours and your loved one’s safety is of the utmost importance to us. So before you leave home, make sure that you are covered with Matrix Protect. As a member of the Matrix family, sign up today by clicking here or contact us on 011 654 8090.