Tag Archives: safety

Second-hand tyres are a big NO-NO!

Buying new tyres can be hard on your paycheck, that’s why more and more South Africans are opting for cheaper, unknown brands… or even buying second-hand, used tyres – yes that’s right, and it’s downright dangerous!

South Africa is becoming a dumping ground for poor quality, non-regulated and unrecognised tyre brands and second-hand tyres which are dangerous for the drivers who used them, a statement from the South African Tyre Manufacturers Conference said.

Buying second-hand tyres might sound like a good idea, but in reality it can be fatal. A staggering 22% of accidents are caused by tyre failures and this is increasing as more and more people are ignoring their tyre issues. ”This rate could be significantly reduced if motorists would change their tyre purchasing habits and purchase reliable, good quality tyres,” said Kathy Roberts, SATMC chairwoman.

Second-hand tyres are extremely dangerous as the state of their casing can not be ascertained. It is also questionable whether the tread depth of that tyre met the legal minimum safety standards. Good tread keeps you in control of your car by helping with braking, steering and accelerating. It’s essential for grip, especially in wet weather. A low tyre tread won’t disperse water adequately and could cause you to lose control of your car. Tread also protects the tyre casing from punctures. The legal limit for tread is 1.6 mm but it’s a good idea never to go below 3 mm.

One research study done found that 90% of the second-hand, previously used tyres tested failed to meet minimum legal requirements, with issues ranging from embedded nails, illegal tread depth, exposed cords, inadequate sidewall markings and one tyre which was 17 years old – shocking!

To be safe, rather spend extra money on new tyres. 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%!

Here are tips for taking care of your tyres.

(Source: Tyre Reviewsrezulteo, Facebook)

Your ”how to” guide for using jumper cables

Most of us have experienced a flat car battery, and boy is it the worst or what? When you are visiting friends and you have forgotten your car lights on, all of a sudden a great evening turns into a very stressful one. Especially when you’re not that knowledgeable when it comes to jumper cables or car batteries, this can be quite the dilemma.

When your battery is dead, you need two things: a set of jumper cables, and an obliging person with a car with a working battery.

You also need to know how to use the jumper cables. Here is your ”how to” guide to do it safely:

  • First work out if you need jumper cables. If turning the key just makes a ‘click’ noise, jumper cables are the answer. If your car makes starting noises and your lights and radio still work, the problem isn’t the battery.
  • Straighten the jumper cables and find the red clips and black clips.
    Park the working car opposite or next to your car so that the jumper cables can reach both batteries. The batteries need to be close enough so that the jumper cables can reach them. Open both bonnets and make sure both cars’ ignitions are off.
  • Attach one of the jumper cable’s red clips to the positive terminal of your dead battery. The positive terminal should have a ‘+’ sign on it and may have a red plastic cover. If the terminal has a plastic cover, remove it and attach the clip to the metal part.
  • Attach the other red clip to the metal on the positive terminal of the charged battery.
  • Next to the red clip you just clipped to the charged battery is a black clip. Attach this to the metal on the negative terminal of the charged battery (this should have a ‘-’ sign).
  • Now take the other black clip and attach it to any unpainted piece of metal on your engine. (DON’T attach it to the dead battery).
  • First start up the working car and then start your car. It should start immediately. (If it doesn’t, try wiggling the clips to get a better connection.) Once it’s started, leave your car running.
  • You can disconnect the cables in any order, but just make sure the red and black clips don’t touch while they’re still connected to a battery. To be extra safe, disconnect the clips in reverse order.
  • Drive your car for about 20 minutes to charge the battery.

Would you feel safer in same-sex transport?

Would you feel safer in same-sex transport? 70% of women said they would feel safer in a same-sex transport system. This is according to a Thomson Reuters Foundation survey of nearly 6 300 women in 15 of the world’s largest capitals, including New York. The women said they would feel safer in single-sex areas on buses and trains.

This may come across as a foreign concept, but it has already been put into operation. The world’s largest capital, Tokyo, was one of the first to introduce female-only cars on trains to stop women being abused. It has been followed by cities where sexual assault is more prevalant such as Mexico City and Jakarta.

This trend comes as reports of female-abuse is on the rise and studies link safe transport to female economic empowerment.

The question of whether this concept is practical is still being argued by experts who remain critical. However, most women favour the idea. Claudine Saldua, a 21-year-old student, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation:”Sometimes I go to the women’s area especially when I observe that there are a lot of boys in my lane.”

Laura Howley (29), a personal assistant working in London, said: “I’ve never felt unsafe on the tube or trains… I wouldn’t actively seek out a women-only carriage. I think there could be a backlash against women because of it and maybe create an anti-female feeling.”

Emily May, co-founder of anti-harassment group Hollaback! in New York, said there was no “one size fits all” solution to stop harassment on transport but it was critical to address as women gave up jobs and even moved home due to transport fears. “There certainly are people in some countries in which women-only carriages have been implemented that love them and feel so much safer because of them. But I think they are band-aid solutions and I don’t think they are the kind of change we want. We don’t want to be telling women that they have to ride in a different car or that they have to walk down a different street or wear different clothes.”

Would you feel safer if there were women-only public transport available? Tell us what you think: womenonwheels@assocmedia.co.za


Tips for driving on the N2 near Cape Town International airport

After the recent incidences regarding N2 hijackings near Cape Town International Airport, we have received an urgent message to warn all drivers to either stay clear of the area, or follow these tips:

Travellers are being warned of the modus operandi being used by these alleged hijackers:

– Do not drive over any cardboard boxes or plastic bags left in the middle of the road as these could contain cement or rocks and cause serious damage to the car.

– As the driver you are then forced to pull over, putting yourself at risk of ambush alongside the road.

– Additionally, road users are advised to be especially careful during poor visibility or after dark.

1. Always drive in the right hand lane.

2. Never, ever stop on the N2, drive on your cars rims if you have to, but keep going until you see a petrol station or a public place to stop.

3. Don’t rely on help from the Saps or the Metro cops while an apparent shortage of officers on the N2 is evident.

4. Fit anti-hijacking smash and grab coatings to all your car windows.

5. Plan the route you are going to take well ahead of time to avoid becoming distracted on the road.

6. Load all the Cape Town crew cellphone numbers and emergency numbers into your phone.

Also read: Emergency numbers to have when driving on the N2


Are you be able to change a tyre or pass a drivers test again?

If you were stuck on the side of the road would you be able to change a tyre? We know a lot of women will say no to this question, but you should at least be able to take precautions like check if your tyres are properly inflated.

Shockingly, one in three motorists aged 18-25 declared they never check if their tyres are properly inflated, while one in four haven’t analysed if their tyres tread depth is within legal limits. These statistics from Britian seem quite worrying. But the worst one of all is that a whopping 20 percent of drivers don’t know how to open the bonnet of their own vehicle… Also, 75 percent of 50 experienced drivers subjected to retake the standard U.K. driving test weren’t able to pass it again. Well, that might put the number of road accidents into perspective.

We can only wonder what the statistics would show in South Africa. The moral of the story is to always be clued up about your car- especially us ladies. A lot of the time we leave it up to men, but when you are standing at the side of the highway alone with a broken down car because you never checked anything, you will be really mad at yourself!



Baby on board sign

Top funny ‘baby on board’ signs

The ‘baby on board’ sign is a signifier situated at the back of one’s car, traditionally used to encourage safe driving- very obviously to make other drivers aware that there is a baby in the vehicle.

Nowadays, however, these signs are getting modified and the meaning of the signs are starting to change into a less serious tone and into a more funny vibe. The original baby on board sign has inspired a lot of baby-related ‘jokey signs’. People are acquiring signs at the back of their vehicles saying: ‘grandma on board’ or ‘future CEO on board’.

We collected a few funny, quirky modified ‘baby on board’ signs for your entertainment. Here are our top ten ones: