Tag Archives: safety

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If you drive a Volvo you will avoid accidents with cyclists!

Volvo Cars, protective gravity sports gear manufacturer POC and Ericsson recently presented an innovative safety technology that, for the first time ever, can connect drivers and cyclists. This new technology was unveiled at the International CES in Las Vegas from in January 2015.

The global growth in cycling, including South Africa, continues unabated as commuters and sport cyclists take to their bikes. This has resulted in an increase in serious cycling accidents. The technology consists of a connected car and helmet prototype that will establish two-way communication offering proximity alerts to Volvo drivers and cyclists and thereby avoid accidents. No car manufacturer has previously put a stake in the ground to help address the problem of cyclist/vehicle safety by using Connected Safety technology.

Volvo Cars’ City Safety system – standard on the all-new Volvo XC90 as well as the rest of the Volvo range – is a technology that can detect, warn and auto-brake to avoid collisions with cyclists. It was the industry’s first step to seriously address cyclist safety. This commitment has paved the way for the innovative helmet technology concept.

Using a popular smartphone app for bicyclists, like Strava, the cyclist’s position can be shared through the Volvo cloud to the car, and vice versa. If an imminent collision is calculated, both road users will be warned.

Stefan Ytterborn, CEO and Founder of POC added: “Our mission is to do the best we can to possibly save lives and to reduce the consequences of accidents for gravity sports athletes and cyclists. The partnership with Volvo Cars aligns very well with our mission and we are excited to see how we can contribute to cyclist safety and increase interaction between cars and cyclists alike”.

Here are a few cycling statistics you probably didn’t know about:

-Globally, 132.3 million bicycles were sold in 2013 (source: NPD Group 2013)
-Beijing government hopes, ¼ of people would use cycling to commute in 2015
-In the Swedish city of Gothenburg alone, the number of bikers raised 30% in 2013
-4,533 cyclists were injured in Berlin only in 2012
-55% of cyclist fatalities in EU-23 countries occur in urban areas            In US 69% of all cyclist deaths in 2012 occurred in urban areas
-(On the road) serious injuries for UK cyclists in 2013 were 31% higher than in 2009
-In US 726 cyclists were killed in 2012, an increase in 6.5% compared to 2011 and 49’000 were injured, +2.1% vs. 2011
-The total cost of bicyclist injuries and deaths is over $4 billion per year in the US
-In Germany, The Netherlands and Poland more than 85% of cyclist fatalities occurred at crossroads
-In some countries, pedestrians and cyclists constitute more than 75% of road deaths

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Safety guide for road runners

Is one of your new year’s resolutions for 2015 to get fit? The probability is high. However, you also want to save, so joining the gym is not an option for you at this point. The only other option is to take to the road…

Below are the top road runner tips from Arrive Alive to keep you safe on the road:

Always stay alert and aware of what’s going on around you. The more aware you are, the less vulnerable you are.

Think about possible escape routes in case of a confrontation.

Take notice of who is ahead of you and who is behind you. Know where the nearest public sites are with some general activity – there is usually safety in numbers.

When in doubt, follow your intuition and avoid potential trouble. If something seems suspicious, do not panic, but run in a different direction.

Run clear of parked cars, bushes, dark areas.

Be extra vigilant at junctions with alleyways where traffic may emerge.

Run across the street at crosswalks and always pay attention to traffic lights.

Drivers have a bad habit of not looking for pedestrians. Be sure to make eye contact before crossing in front of a car.

Never assume you have been seen.

Be considerate of other road/ pavement users – do not force pedestrians into the road – do not step off the pavement without checking behind – cyclists do not make a noise!

Be aware of other hazards such as forces of nature, animals etc.

Use discretion in acknowledging strangers. Look directly at others and be observant, but keep your distance and keep moving.
Ignore verbal harassment.

Do not approach a car to give directions, or the time of day. Point toward the nearest police or information source, shrug your shoulders, but keep moving. If you feel you must respond, do it while moving.

 

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Back to school tips for road users

With the school term kicking off in the middle of January, there’s going to be a higher number of children and parents, buses and cyclists using the road.

This means more traffic, an increased number of road rage incidents which could possibly lead to more accidents on the road. And like last year showed us, keeping your kids safe on their way to school is a big issue that needs attention.

Why? Children are the most vulnerable when involved in an accident. The Western Cape Traffic Department revealed that in the Western Cape alone 191 pedestrian children were killed on the roads in the province in one year – with 127 of these children being run over and 90 of them were younger than the age of ten.

It was also revealed last year that a big portion of the Western Cape’s scholar transport system is unroadworthy and therefore untrustworthy.

This is how you can help make the road a safer place for you and your children when the school rush begins:

- If you have children who must use the roads frequently, for example to walk to school, you must ensure they are well versed in the rules of the road.

-As a driver, you can help keep children safe by never speeding, and making a deliberate point of slowing down where large numbers of children are present.

- Large numbers of children are also killed as passengers, very often as a result of not being buckled up properly. Always use an age appropriate child seat when transporting children by road.

- Parents must ensure that child pedestrians wear high-visibility clothing. It’s also not advised to let your child walk to school alone in any area.

- If your child is being transported to school by bus or taxi, make sure the vehicle belongs to an accredited business and is well maintained.

 

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Things you may not have known about a car’s tyres

According to Bridgestone, which does an annual country wide tyre check, tyre safety declined in 2014.

The Tyre Check surveys in 2014 covered five of the nine provinces in South Africa and checked 6 708 tyres for condition, inflation pressure and tyre mis-matching on the vehicle.

The percentage of tyres classified as ‘fine’ (correctly inflated) dropped substantially compared to 2013. In 2013, over 90 percent of tyres were classified as ‘fine’, but this declined to 82 percent in 2014. The highest-scoring survey in 2014, conducted at Springfield in KwaZulu-Natal, returned an 89 percent ‘fine’ rating, but none of the other locations scored higher than 85 percent, and the survey done at Kolonnade Retail Park returned just 76 percent, the lowest score at any location since 2010.

Bridgestone stressed its concerns about this matter as the tyres that were being checked is not a small sample. ‘Over two thousand tyres were surveyed during that event. This indicates widespread neglect of tyre care in the area, with about one in four tyres in a potentially dangerous condition,’ the company commented.

The most common tyre issue found by the Bridgestone Tyre Check team was under-inflation. At each survey, around five percent of tyres were found to be in a severe state of under-inflation; at the Kolonnade survey, almost 17 percent were dangerously under-inflated.

Another feature of the 2014 surveys was the number of tyres which were found to be mis-matched, meaning that tyres of different sizes, tread patterns or from various tyre manufacturers were found on the same vehicle – which will affect the car’s road holding and braking characteristics.

Bridgestone said it believed the main factors behind the decline in tyre conditions in 2014 were economic situations. Tyres are often a grudge purchase, and when times are tough people tend to put off replacing tyres until they have to.When a tyre is damaged beyond repair, motorists will often opt to replace a single tyre with the cheapest one they can get, even if it’s not the same make or tread pattern as the other tyres on the vehicle. This could be behind the high mis-matching rate.

Many people also neglect tyre maintenance in the daily struggle to make ends meet. “In fact, regular tyre pressure checks can save your money by making your tyres last longer. Inspecting your tyres could even save your life by preventing an accident caused by a damaged or worn tyre. Times are tough, but proper tyre maintenance ensures you get more value for the money you spent when you bought your tyres,” Bridgestone concluded.

 

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Your new year’s resolutions when it comes to your car

Now that’s it’s the new year, everyone has thought of their new year’s resolutions that they absolutely must follow through with this year – not like the year before or the year before or the year before…

Start a diet, stop smoking, join the gym… we’ve heard them all. You may have the usual resolutions this year, but have you thought about what your new year’s resolution are when it comes to your car?

These are your driving resolutions everyone absolutely needs to follow through with this whole year:

1. Stop texting and driving…

We can’t state this enough, seriously though. People are still doing it, the road death toll says so. Yes, texting and driving is a big part of injuries, accidents and death on the road. If you stop doing it, you might save a life.

2. Maintain your car

…or your taxi, or motorcycle or anything you drive. For one, traffic services are getting stricter and starting off with a pretty harsh ‘follow the road rules or go to jail’ tactic in 2015. Therefore, if you get caught driving an unroadworthy vehicle, you will get penalised. Other than that, it’s just very unsafe. Even the little things count – check your wipers, check your water, check the status of your tyres weekly. This will keep you on the road and unharmed.

3. Tyres, tyres, tyres…

Without tyres, your car is pretty much useless – so look after them! Firstly you need to find out what the correct tyre pressure is for your tyres and car (and it might not be what you think it is). This can also save on fuel. Secondly, you need to ask a professional to point out the tread wear indicator on your tyres, and replace them when they reach this point. If your tyres are over a certain amount of kilos (normally 40 000), you need to replace them. Other than this, you also need to rotate your wheels and check alignment after every 10,000km you drive. Also check your alignment every time you take a long trip.

4. Drive smart

This may sound scary, but every time you climb into your car, you are risking your life – yet it’s a daily occurrence. What you need to do is to take a decision to drive smart – don’t drink and drive, don’t drive without a seatbelt, buckle the children up, don’t let your dog run around in the car while driving etc. Things like this may seem minor, but it could keep a horrible accident from happening.

5. Keep to the speed limit or pay your fines

It’s pretty simple – don’t get a fine, and if you do – pay it asap. This is better than letting all those traffic fines build up and then you are unable to renew your licence.

6. Improve your eco-credentials and drive greener

Wondering how? This is how you can be a more eco-conscious driver.

7. Don’t rage on the road

Road rage is on the rise, and it’s certainly not something South Africans can ignore anymore. Everywhere you look there are stories from road rage victims – and this is increasingly happening all over the country. Maybe you don’t see yourself as a road rage perpetrator, but you might also be a possible victim. The best thing you can possibly do is to merely avoid the situation as a whole.

8. Learn how to change a tyre

Imagine this scenario: You are a lady, alone at night, in a deserted area – and you have a flat tyre. You cannot call for help as the reception is bad. What else can you do if you can’t change a tyre? A better option might be to acquire run-flat tyres. This way you won’t have to stop on the side of the road at all. And, if you have to stop, make sure you have an emergency kit in your car at all times.

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What is the Ford drunk suit and how can it save you?

South Africans are not easily put off by the legal ramifications of drinking and driving, or drinking and walking. “It won’t happen to me” is a common attitude amongst many South Africans, particularly amongst the younger generation.

Yet, alcohol has been found to be present in over 60% of pedestrian deaths where blood was tested, and 90% of male pedestrians killed at night. Alcohol played a significant role in the road death toll figures for the previous festive season, in which more than 1 500 people died on our roads.

Statistics released in January 2014 following the 2013/2014 festive season indicated that more than 1 500 people were killed in close to 1 300 fatal crashes recorded on South African roads over the period. Of those fatalities, drunk pedestrians proved to be very hazardous, too.

Ford’s innovative Drunk Suit recently made a stop in South Africa as part of its global tour to show consumers the effects of drinking and driving. Ford’s Drunk Suit was developed especially by the Meyer-Hentschel Institute in Germany to simulate the physical body changes and challenges experienced by a person under the influence of alcohol.

A number of volunteers tried out the suit at a sober challenge hosted at Johannesburg’s Nasrec Expo Centre. They were fitted with earmuffs to impair hearing and delay reactions; vision impairment glasses that produce ghost images and tunnel vision; and a number of weights and pads were placed on them to slow and restrict their movements and reaction times. The overall impact was the drunk sensation that a driver feels when he or she has to use reflexes and movements whilst driving.

Below is an inforgraphic of Ford’s innovative drunk suit:

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Remember, you could loose everything the moment you choose to drink and drive.