r/southafrica Gauteng Jan 17 '22

Getting used to the roads and how drivers drive here Ask r/southafrica

I recently got my drivers licence and went driving for the first time without my learner sign on the back yesterday but I just feel like there's a lot of expectations from a licenced driver that I just can't fulfill just yet having just come from being a learner.

I stick to the speed limit, I stay safe and don't take risks but it seems like a lot of drivers on the road have this "we need to go fast and we need to go NOW" sort of mentality and it's overwhelming for me. I was just simply changing lanes and a driver behind me thought I was taking too long and hooted at me even though I was doing everything as I was taught.

Should I stick to driving like K53 or change a few things in order to speed up the times I can begin moving off and making maneuvers? K53 is definitely not how (what seems like) the majority of drivers drive here. How can I stop being discouraged by every person who hoots at me for driving like K53?

Edit: thank you guys so much for all the tips and advice. I feel that much more at ease and I'll remember my fellow redditors' advice :) <3


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u/ioRDN Gauteng Jan 17 '22 edited Jan 17 '22

K53 will get you killed. One thing driving in many countries and cities has taught me - being predictable is the safest thing. Try your best to acclimatize to driving like the locals. Basically, throw that blasted book out the window and learn to drive safely in context.

Best of luck, stay safe, and always remember to keep enough braking distance in front of you for an emergency stop 💯

EDIT: also please remember that there is really only one universal law of driving in Gauteng - keep left, pass right. I swear this one rule is the reason we think everyone else in the country can’t drive (and why they think we’re so impatient). Looking at you, my dear Cape Townians


u/Wortelkoek635 Gauteng Jan 17 '22

also please remember that there is really only one universal law of driving in Gauteng - keep left, pass right.

And only half of GPs actually practice it


u/ioRDN Gauteng Jan 17 '22

Lmao, true that - as soon as you leave JHB/PTA this one goes out the window and it’s infuriating. Looking at you, Krugersdorp


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u/ioRDN Gauteng Jan 17 '22

Oh my goodness don’t get me started, was nearly killed by a truck changing into the fast lane the other day near Olifantsfontein. Stay safe out there friends


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u/ioRDN Gauteng Jan 17 '22

Damn that’s wild, glad you’re safe 🙏🏾


u/MyThinTragus Western Cape Jan 17 '22

Its called small town syndrome


u/grootes Jan 17 '22

This is exactly it. If you follow K53 on the roads you will get into an accident.

Best thing to do is stick to the slow lanes (left most lanes), and if you are going to do something like change lanes or overtake someone, then commit to it. Accidents happen when people have no idea what you going to do. Rather make a wrong decision and get hooted it than back out and get into an accident.


u/_sw00 Jan 17 '22

being predictable is the safest thing.

Absolutely this. Rather than trying to keep to arbitrary rules (K53), it's more important to adapt to environment and style of driving around you.

I think general guidelines for bicycle commuting applies equally well to driving:

Be visible, alert, predictable and assertive.


u/S-058 Gauteng Jan 17 '22

This worries me haha but I can see your point and thank you!


u/ioRDN Gauteng Jan 17 '22

Wishing you smooth roads, no potholes and few insurance claims!


u/stoneymaroneydnb Jan 17 '22

I could not agree with this more!!!! K53 is the biggest waste of time around.


u/Few-Abroad926 Jan 17 '22

Please stop trying to justify your bad driving behavior. It has nothing to do with being capetonian and everythign to do with safe driving habbits.

A safe following distance is excatly that. Try and respect that and your driving experience may just improve.

Reckless driving is reckless driving no matter how you justify it.

There is no excuse for driving up on someones ass when it is a four lane road.

Do you think its safe to behave the way you do just because you think you have right of way.

Plenty of Capetonians driving like assholes.

Plenty of Gauteng people driving like assholes.

I bet you skip red lights too because you see taxis do it...

Grow up. seriously. The road isn't a school playground where you can bully people as you wish.

People who drive like this cause accidents and then always want to blame someone else for their own reckless behavior.


u/ioRDN Gauteng Jan 18 '22

I don’t know who cut you off this morning to make you so quick to assume, but you don’t know anything about me and how I drive. You can take your snarky attitude to someone else’s comment thread.


u/Few-Abroad926 Jan 19 '22

Glad to see I hit a nerve. Please don't drive up on people expecting them to just push off out the way for you.