Tag Archives: safety

holiday road safety

Holiday Road Safety – Stay safe this festive season!

South Africa has one of the highest road-accident fatality rates in the world. We look at some ways you can improve your holiday road safety!

Over last year’s festive season period, as many as 1 300 people were killed on our roads alone. Holiday Road safety should be a primary concern, especially considering that the number of registered cars using the roads increased from 6.4 million to 9.1 million  from 2003 to 2011. That number is exponentially higher now!

The need for increased driver attention and vehicle maintenance is very clear, Aftermarket Solutions offers some valuable advice that drivers can follow to help curb SA’s incredibly high road-accident and fatality rates and ensure holiday road safety over the festive season.


Heavy summer rains, coastal fog and other inclement weather conditions can seriously affect safe driving. Flooding is particularly dangerous; water on a low-lying bridge can lift a vehicle while unseen debris can cause additional problems. Consider using a navigation system like TomTom that not only provides a map, but also gives traffic warnings.

Road-surface conditions

More vehicles on our roads, poor road maintenance and bad weather have left many of our roads with notoriously bad potholes. Not only does this necessitate much more careful driving, it also requires you to properly maintain your vehicle, including making sure your tyres are appropriately inflated, and your shock absorbers, struts and springs are all working correctly. Visit your local CBS workshop to make sure your vehicle is in tip-top condition.


‘Speed kills’ – it’s a fact. The faster you drive, the less reaction time you have and the greater the impact in the event of a crash. Particularly when driving in the wet, or on unsurfaced, gravel or dust roads, reduce your speed and avoid tailgating.

Driver skill

Research from the UK suggests that 90% of all road crashes are caused by human error. Psycho-motor skills like gradual braking, finding the biting point of the clutch or mastering the turn of a steering wheel make a huge difference in safe driving, as does knowing how to react if your car skids.

Driver knowledge

If it’s been a few years since you passed your driver’s test, now’s the time to give yourself a refresher. Understanding the rules of the road and knowing how to interpret road signs contribute enormously to safe travelling. Knowing your vehicle is as important: reading the manual will be time well spent.

Driving while drunk or fatigued

It should go without saying that driving under the influence is a total no-no. And being severely sleep-deprived is as dangerous to safe driving as being drunk: it leads to slower reaction times and poor judgment.

Vehicle maintenance

A safe car is a well maintained car. Save yourself time, money and heartbreak by regularly checking your vehicle’s oil and cooling-system levels, tyres and lights (and especially your taillights – any Motolek workshop can assist with replacing light bulbs and refitting light covers, and have your car serviced regularly.


Do you have a fear of driving? I know how you feel

The world truly works in mysterious ways. I have now been a motoring journalist for around 9 years. That is almost a decade of driving for my livelihood. I have been driving far longer than that as well, so isn’t it strange that out of the blue, I would develop a fear of driving?

A few weeks back I found myself feeling really anxious behind the wheel. It got to a point where I would avoid having to go to the shops because it meant I would be in the car longer and therefore creating more opportunity for something bad to happen. I had never ever felt this way before. I told friends and family about it as I was starting to become really concerned. How would I be able to do my job if I fear what I do?

Then today, as I was researching a completely different topic I came across an article IOL Motoring posted about this exact fear! I couldn’t believe it. Maybe I am not going mad after all!

I wanted to share my experience and what IOL has reported as it may help you. Thankfully, I have realised that my anxiety was stress related and once I knew how to handle the stress, the panic attacks and the anxiety subsided.

Of course there are many reasons for fearing driving or even experiencing panic attacks while driving. Obvious reasons could be that you have been in a terrible accident, other reasons include the fear of losing control of your car, causing an accident or upsetting other road users.

Psychologist Alexandra Baerike says, “Fear tends to get generalized. You start off by not being able to drive down the motorway and before long you can’t drive anywhere.”

So how do you break the cycle?

IOL’s article says that Baerike recommends self-help literature. He advises that you take a partner or friend when you go for a drive, or spend some time with a driving instructor. You can also try something as simple as saying out loud that you can cope or recalling successful driving situations.

And like Sven Rademacher of Germany’s DVR road safety council says, “Those who suffer from full-blown panic attacks should seek some kind of therapeutic help.”

There really is no reason to be fearful of driving if you are cautious and aware. Something my dad always said to me can also help with how you drive, “Everyone else on the road is a bad driver except you”.

Read these helpful defensive driving tips

Source: IOL

Audi advanced driving

Want to do an advanced driving course? Of course you do!

You’ve passed your driver’s license… maybe you’ve even been driving South Africa’s highways and byways for years – so you think you’re a good driver, right?

You may be right, but in the words of Billy Joel, you may be wrong. You may have a lot of experience, but you have a lot of bad habits too, without even being aware of them.

One of the best ways to step back and take a closer look at your driving skills and knowledge is to go on an advanced driving course, according to Imperial Auto. Spending time with a professional driving instructor will help you gain insights into defensive driving, road safety, hijacking defence, as well as teaching you how to get the best performance from your car – safely.

Types of courses vary, with some of the major vehicle brands including a course as part of the purchase price of a new vehicle – something that is particularly true of off-road vehicle brands.

Options on offer from the various brands include:

  • Defensive driving courses teach you how to identify hazards, look for escape routes, as well as how to correct oversteering and understeering (and how to tell the difference between them), and how to come out of a skid or aquaplane safely.
  • Hijack prevention teaches you more about criminals’ modus operandi, and how you should respond if you or your family are threatened in a hijack situation.
  • 4×4 driving courses teach you how to get the best performance out of your specialist vehicle, whether driving on the tar or on the gravel. Some courses will challenge you to put your own vehicle through its paces up hill, down dale and through dongas, while others will let you push your offroading limits in provided vehicles.
  • High-performance driving courses let you loose on a race track to learn and hone advanced driving skills.

While it’s really easy to get carried away by the excitement of pushing a high-performance vehicle to its limits on a race-track, it’s worth remembering that you’re going to have to drive safely once you’re back out on the regular roads, where there will be hundreds of other drivers who don’t have the same skills. For this reason, make sure that the course that you choose also offers really practical advice in addition to the fun stuff, like how to set your seat and steering wheel at the correct heights, and which really is the safest way to park your car (it’s planning your parking so that you can always drive out of your spot forwards, without having to reverse…)

Many training facilities allow you to customise your programme so that you can be sure that you’ve acquired the skills you need, so it really is possible – even ideal – for every South African driver to take advantage of the opportunity to make South Africa’s roads safer, by becoming safer drivers.

They’re also a great way to educate your teen with their freshly-minted driver’s license about how to deal with the many potential hazards that can occur, whether they’re driving on great freeways or on poorly maintained roads. What’s more, several insurance companies offer discounts on clients’ premiums if they have completed a defensive driving course – contact your insurer for more information.

Driver education programmes designed within a budget are a great way for companies to offer all their employees (and not just sales representatives) a great team-building experience that will give them life-saving skills too.

Several South African vehicle brands, all of which have dealerships under the Imperial Auto umbrella, offer advanced driving courses, including BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Volkswagen, and Toyota.

Image source

seatbelt sign

Do you know how to wear a seatbelt correctly?

International stats say there are over 7 000 less deaths in recent years due to improvements in safety technology. While seatbelts are not a new phenomenon, what many people do not know is they have to be used in conjunction with other safety mechanisms or in a particular way for them to fulfill their proper function.

5 Car crash scams that you should know about!

Here is what you have to do to wear them properly:

  • Airbags do not replace seatbelts but are designed to be used in conjunction with them. If an airbag deploys and you are not wearing your seatbelt, you can hit the airbag at up to 300km per hour causing serious injury or even death.
  • Back passengers must also always wear seatbelts. Not only will it prevent you from being flung from the car but will also stop passengers from hitting the seat in front of them. Without a seatbelt you can hit the front seats at such a high speed you can injure and even kill front passengers.
  • Seatbelts are designed for adults and can cause more damage to children if used incorrectly, for example without booster seats.
  • Only once you are taller than 4’9” (150cm) or weigh more than approximately 40kg can you wear a seatbelt without a booster seat.
  • Seatbelts are designed to not only stop you from being flung from the car but to absorb the impact of the crash where you are best able to withstand it: with your pelvis, ribcage and shoulders.
  • The lower strap of the seatbelt should sit across your lap and pelvis, not your stomach where you are vulnerable to internal injuries.
  • The belt that goes across your body should rest on your collar bone or chest but should never touch your face or neck.

Seatbelts and pregnancy

  • You still need to wear one
  • Wear the lap belt below your belly and across your pelvis
  • Wear the shoulder part on the side of your belly and across your chest

For more detailed and comprehensive information on the benefits of seatbelts, give MasterDrive a call on 011 867 4778. They are committed to reducing injuries and death from crashes on our roads.

Do you know how your airbags work?

N2 Cape Town

The N2 Cape Town under siege

Archie Bell sent an email to GoSouthOnline back in 2014. Almost exactly a year ago (August 1st) informing them of the meeting that took place regarding the attacks on the  N2 and what is to be done about it.

“On Wednesday myself and Wesley Ford (CCM SAA) met with Minister Daniel Plato, the MEC for Safety and Security in the Western Cape and twelve members of his security cluster. Representatives from all the various Provincial and City of Cape Town departments were in attendance. The SAPS did not send a representative to the meeting. The following SAPS departments were sent invitations to the meeting by Minister Plato, it was very disappointing that the SAPS chose not to send a representative to the meeting.”

So what came out of the meeting. Well the following preventative measures were discussed:

Short term:

Patrols by the traffic department, the metro police and the SAPS will be increased to a 24 hour saturation level on both the Eastern and Western sections of N2. Particular attention would given to the known Hotspots.

All large rocks, concrete blocks, Broken toilets, half bricks and large stones would removed from the hotspots and their surrounds.
Minister Plato will be contacting the Provincial Commissioner of Police in the Western Cape, Lieutenant General Lamoer, in an attempt to forge a more collaborative approach to resolving the N2 crime escalation.

Medium Term:

Lighting in the vicinity of known hotspot areas would be improved.
Existing CCTV cameras would be upgraded and, if necessary, new CCTV cameras will be fitted to cover all known Hotspot areas. These CCTV cameras are connected to the Cape Town emergency control room.

The fences between the N2 and the informal settlements adjacent to the Hotspot areas would be repaired and maintained.
Known escape routes would be blocked with barbed wire.

Long Term:

Councillor Jean Pierre Smith and Minister Plato have agreed to meet with an independent security company that has an Airborne Policing Solution designed at the University of Stellenbosch. All this organization are asking for is the co-operation of the various emergency departments in the Western Cape. No funding is needed from the City or the Province.

So why, a year later, are we still dealing with these horrific attacks and what has been done about it? Thank goodness for initiatives such as the N2 Safe Project and the Zello app.To read Archie Bell’s full email go to GoSouthOnline website.


According to IOL, acting provincial police commissioner Thembisile Patekile was speaking at a media briefing on Thursday about improving safety measures along the 26km stretch of road between Jakes Gerwel Drive and the Firgrove off-ramp near Somerset West.

Nine kilometres of the road is the responsibility of the province, with 17km being looked after by the South African National Roads Agency Limited“Criminal activity along the road has been a problem for years and we are working hard to clamp down on crime,” Patekile said.

Mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith said the City was finalising talks with the Airports Company South Africa to contract additional law enforcement staff linked to Cape Town International Airport, who would provide extra patrols along the road.

IOL has posted a video from the meeting on Thursday of safety tips when driving on the N2.

Sources: GoSouthOnline and IOL



Pedestrian Safety - Vehicle Injury zones

Pedestrian safety – How to avoid being a statistic

Pedestrian safety is just as much a responsibility as driving a car is. Pedestrians need to make sure that they are constantly aware of their surroundings.

When engaging with cars and other vehicles on the roads, you can put yourself at huge risks if you don’t obey the rules of the road and practice pedestrian safety measures.

Pedestrian Safety - Camouflaged Pedestrian

Pedestrian Safety Includes the Following:

ALWAYS obey road traffic signs. When crossing the road or pretty much any time you’re on the road, you need to know that you’re in a dangerous environment. Cars and drivers will be (theoretically anyway) obeying the road traffic signs and can’t be blamed for hitting you if you’ve crossed the road when it was their right of way. Just like cars aren’t allowed to go through a red traffic light, you should have the same mentality as a pedestrian.

Wear brightly coloured or reflective clothing. While it may not be convenient to always wear this type of clothing – if you know that you’re going to be on the road, then bring a brightly coloured jersey with you. While you’re on the road you can put it on so that drivers are fully aware of your presence as a pedestrian.

DO NOT engage road traffic while distracted! When it comes to crossing the road, or any scenario whereby you’re engaging with vehicles on the road – make sure you give it your full attention. Do not text while you cross the road, or look at any of your mobile devices. Put them away and focus on the road and the vehicles. If you’re listening to music, pause it before you cross. Make sure all your senses are available to you when engaging road traffic as a pedestrian.


Don’t walk in the road! Always walk on the pavement whenever possible. If there isn’t a pavement, then walk as close to the edge of the road as possible. Face towards the oncoming traffic – giving yourself plenty of time to react to oncoming vehicles. So in South Africa – this means you would walk on the right hand side of the road. Pedestrians aren’t meant to be on the road, so only walk on the road if you have to!


If you’re intoxicated, AVOID road traffic! When under the influence of alcohol or any other mind altering drugs, be aware that your judgement is impaired. Stay away from road traffic, as you will probably take risks that you normally wouldn’t. If you have to, then make sure you strictly follow the road traffic signs.


Always look both ways! Every time, before you cross the road – make sure you’ve looked in both directions – making sure you’re aware of all the oncoming traffic. Don’t assume that the vehicle has seen you just because you’ve seen them. The driver may be distracted by the low sun or a mobile device and might not be aware of any pedestrians around them.


Don’t stop in the middle of the road! When crossing the road, wait until both lanes are clear and you can cross to the other side. Don’t walk into the road and wait in the middle, this is incredibly dangerous! Remember as a pedestrian, the road isn’t made for you – it’s made for cars. So minimize your time on the road, cross in a straight line and make sure you can get across before stepping foot onto the road!

Source: Arrive Alive