Tag Archives: safety

WOW reminds you to check your tyres before the holidays!

If you are getting ready for the long road this holiday season, you might want to consider these tyre tips to keep you and your family safe.

-AA says that good tyre tread is necessary to maintain road grip, especially in wet weather.It is not just the tread that must be in a good condition but the sidewalls as well. The correct tyre pressures are of the utmost importance to achieve optimum road holding and tyre life.

-Resist the temptation to fix leaks with a temporary plug; rather have your tyre repaired at a professional dealer.

-Rotate your wheels and check alignment after every 10 000 km you drive. Also check your alignment every time you take a long trip.

-Check your tyre pressure every time you fill up. Incorrect tyre pressure increases the wear and tear on your car, and makes it expensive to run because it ups your fuel consumption. Check your manual or the inside of the passenger door frame of the fuel filler flap for the correct tyre pressure.

-Be sure to check your tyres for nails, tears or any damage that the road may have caused. If you see something that looks foreign on your tyre, take it to have it checked immediately.

Re-treading your tyres is a big no-no! This is only applicable to heavy vehicles. The National Road Traffic Actsays no person shall operate on a public road with a motor vehicle which is equipped with a regrooved tyre having a bead diameter of 430 millimetres or less

Bridgestone says the most effective way to reduce tyre costs over the lifetime of a passenger car is to ensure that tyres are always correctly inflated to provide the most economical operation. Correct driving style also helps prolong tyre life, such as avoiding harsh braking, heavy cornering and sudden acceleration. If you take care of your tyres it can prolong the life up to 30%!

For more tips relating to your tyres, have a look at our quick tutorial on taking car of your tyres and why wheel alignment is so important.

How to avoid getting targeted by criminals this festive season

According to statistics put together by Tracker, 50% of hijackings take place in residential driveways and parking lots and within a 5 km radius of the victim’s home. 80% of vehicle thefts meanwhile occur at shopping centres, schools and social events, mainly over weekends. Both Tracker and Arrive Alive have also identified technology as an increasingly large threat, with criminals using remote devices to prevent a vehicle from being locked.

The above statistics proves that people really do need to be more vigilant, and even more so over the period of the festive season. Here are some tips brought to us by Motorburn to stay safe on the road during the upcoming festive season.

1. When driving up to your house, never park in your driveway facing the gate as hijackers may park behind you and block you in. According to Tracker, this is unquestionably the leading modus operandi for hijackers in South Africa. Always stop in the road until the gate is open before you turn into your driveway.

2. Always travel with windows and doors locked and with valuables out of sight. If windows have to be open, ensure the opening isn’t big enough to fit a hand through.

3. Always leave enough room between your car and the one in front of you to avoid being ‘boxed in’, should you need to escape. Gridlock doesn’t just hurt traffic, it can be a serious handicap when it comes to getting out of a difficult situation.

4. Be aware of anyone who approaches your car at traffic lights, stop streets or your driveway. Don’t be distracted. Being aware of your surroundings can, at the very least, buy you enough time to get out of a tricky situation.

5. Be aware of suspicious looking people, including women, at robots and intersections. Several women have been arrested for hijacking in recent years, either working alone or in gangs with men.

6. Do not drive directly home after you visited a bank or ATM. Be alert to who is around you when leaving the bank or ATM and along the journey to your destination.

7. Always park your vehicle at a secure location and ask the security guard his name. Park under CCTV cameras where possible. Even if something does go wrong, there will at least be a record of it.

8. Make sure that your vehicle is properly locked by testing the door handle. This speaks to the remote jamming we mentioned earlier. It’s also worth mentioning that you should not leave valuables visible on the seats.

9. Use proper rest-stops. Try to avoid stopping on the highway, rather take the next of ramp to stop in a more public area where you can stretch, refresh yourself and/or take a break from driving; and have numbers for roadside assistance and other emergencies close at hand or saved on your cell phone, so that you are well-prepared for any eventuality.

10. If you’re in an accident, be organised. Take a picture with a camera or mobile phone and file an accident report with the police as you will need a case number for your insurance company to fie a claim. Remember to get names, addresses, telephone numbers and ID numbers of everyone involved in the accident

Drive 360 Award handed to Suzuki

Drive 360 Award handed to Suzuki

Accolades for the diminutive Suzuki Ignis are coming in thick and fast, with the latest being the coveted Drive 360 Award handed to Suzuki in Johannesburg on Friday, 1 December 2017.

The Ignis won the Compact Car Category in the Independent Group’s Drive 360 Awards and was later recalled to receive the overall Drive 360 Award for 2017. These awards represent the feedback from a judging panel comprising journalists from throughout the group’s motoring publications, including The Star, Pretoria News, The Mercury, Daily News, Cape Times and motoring.co.za.

In making their decision, the judges praised the Ignis’s unique design, its affordable price tag and the high specification level across all models. The Ignis offers dual airbags and ABS brakes across the range, while the range-topping model has full climate control and keyless access and start, to name but a few of its long list of specifications.

Says Denis Droppa, editor of Drive 360 and a judge in this year’s competition: “The Ignis is a small car that punches above its weight in a very competitive market segment. The competition was fierce this year from among the dozens of new cars, bakkies and SUVs launched in 2017, but our judges were unanimous in selecting the Ignis as their overall winner.

“With its sassy styling and appealingly modern cabin, along with surprisingly perky urban performance, this little urban adventurer goes above and beyond what is expected at the price.”

The judges also lauded the Suzuki Ignis’s 2-year / 30 000 km service plan and extended warranty, which is valid for five years or 200 000 km for all models purchased between June and December 2017. This is included in the vehicle price of between R169 900 and R204 900.

Prior to winning this special award, the Ignis received the prize as runner-up in the World Car of the Year’s Urban Car category and was selected as the Compact Car of the Year in the Scottish Car of the Year competition.

The Ignis is also a finalist in next year’s South African Car of the Year competition and several other local consumer and automotive awards.

“The Ignis has been welcomed by our dealers and customers alike. In this vehicle, Suzuki has proven that you can combine the need for an affordable price tag with good safety features, a more commanding ride height and made-for-the-city drivability in a compact vehicle,” says André Venter, divisional head for sales and marketing at Suzuki Auto South Africa.

Via: Suzuki South Africa

Emergency numbers to have when driving on the N2

Due to so many hijacking incidents taking place on the N2 near Cape Town International Airport, we felt it was needed to distribute  local emergency numbers. If you are a frequent user of the N2, it might be a good idea to put these numbers on speed dial!

24 hour emergency number: 021 946 1646 or 021 812 4581/2

The N2 Emergency number: 0800-656463

ER24: 084 124

City of Cape Town Emergency Control Room: 021 480 7700

Tow Truck Service: 021 703 2233, 082 658 0260

Cape Town Airport Police Station: 021 927 2900

Ambulance: 10177

Airport Security: 021 937 1229

Arrive Alive (to report an incident): 0861 400 800

You can also get in contact with the N2 Safe Project and follow them on Facebook.

Also read: What women need to know about driving alone! 

We also have a list of tips for frequent N2 drivers. We urge everyone to please take note, as these incidents are serious and you don’t want to find yourselves in a situation like this, especially if you’re a woman driving alone.

Also read: Ways to avoid getting stuck on dangerous roads


6 ways to winter-proof your car

With battering storms along the coast and freezing temperatures on the Highveld, winter presents some special challenges for South African car owners.

Jeff Osborne, Head of Automotive at Gumtree South Africa, offers a quick checklist of six essential ways to winter-proof your vehicle.

  1. Get your vehicle serviced or checked – especially the electrics and the battery – because pouring rain is the worst time for a breakdown.
  2. Pay special attention to the windscreen wipers and the de-mister – both need to be in good working order in winter.
  3. In the dark early mornings or in rainy conditions, car lights need to be functioning well and switched on.  Make sure you remember to turn then off once you park to avoid ‘winter flat battery syndrome’. 
  4. Worn tyres are even more dangerous in wet or icy conditions so ensure they have a minimum one millimetre tread.
  5. Parking your car outside in winter potentially exposes it to water or frost damage and can dramatically lower the resale value. Find some cover if you can and, if you can’t, make sure you don’t park under trees during a big storm.
  6. Do not use boiling water to clear a visible layer of frost or ice on the windscreen as this could crack the screen. Use a scraper and your wipers. Then ensure that the demister and rear window heater have properly cleared your view through both front and back windscreens before setting off. 
Read more ways to winter-proof your vehicle

How I learned to ride a bike with the help of BMW

Motorcycles have always been appealing to me and at the beginning of this year I decided it was time to get my bike licence.

Not having any prior experience on a bike, (except a bicycle at Primary School), I set out to achieve this goal and the best way to learn how to ride a motorcycle is in a controlled and most importantly, safe environment.

BMW Rider Academy 

As part of BMW MotorradBMW has a rider academy with ten riding courses dependent on your experience on a motorcycle. They have everything from a Novice course for beginners like me to Advanced, High-Performance and two Off-Road courses.

BMW’s Rider Academy is situated in Pretoria on the Zwartkops Raceway circuit. Bonus: You get to learn how to ride a bike on an actual race track!

BMW has a long history of motorcycles, with their first bike, making its debut in 1923. BMW Motorrad, their motorcycle division has over 30 models in over 90 markets. They have motorcycles for every terrain, from World of Adventures which are the GS models that can be used on mountains and in rivers. Their Touring bikes are for long distance travelling and these include the K1600GT. Sports models, which are proper superbikes (300km+), Heritage models, which are the customised 2014 R32’s, the R NineT Pure and Racer bikes. And lastly, the Roadster bikes, the G310R, which is the only 300cc, their smallest motorcycle and Urban Mobility, which are the scooters.

Also read: BMW Motorrad Festival 2015! For the motorcycle enthusiast!

How To Ride A Bike 101

The BMW Rider Academy instructors prepared a theory lesson for the soon-to-be-riders before heading out for the practical training.

They explained the basics: where you’ll find the clutch, throttle, gears and brakes etc. We were also guided through safety lessons – where a bike should be positioned on the road and what a safe following distance is.

Golden Rule of riding a motorcycle

Look where you want to go.

The most important thing you can do while on a motorcycle is to look ahead, and look at the exact spot you want to go – if you’re looking at the tree, that’s eventually where you’ll end up.

In the practical sessions, 250cc motorcycles were used to teach us how to ride. In a demonstration, instructors taught me how to start the bike and slowly move off with my feet lightly dragging on the ground. Once you get more comfortable after “crawling” you can put your feet up and ride, not going too fast – at this point.

I must admit, this wasn’t the easiest task – but the instructors were patient, and spent more time with riders who struggled.

Later they teach you how to change gears, (it’s not as easy as it seems). Your coordination needs focus, managing the clutch, throttle and both brakes take a lot of thought, but after spending more than five hours on the track, you leave the raceway knowing how to ride.

BMW’s instructors also taught students how to do an emergency stop, a stop-and-go, how to swerve correctly with a motorcycle, as well as things like the correct way to pick up a bike when it falls.

Another important rule: Fitness is important when riding a motorcycle.

Until I actually got to ride a motorcycle, I didn’t know that being “bike fit” was a thing – I thought this just applied to bicycles. I was wrong. I came home sore – but it was worth it!