Tag Archives: safety


Take a selfie while you drive…not a great idea! [video]

This is why it’s NEVER a good idea to take a selfie while driving…

We can all get distracted while we are driving. Distractions can be caused by a lot of things like your to-do list in your head, talking to passengers, looking out the window etc. We tend to take our safety for granted.

Watch as these women end up in an accident while trying to take a selfie. Fortunately they got away with no serious injuries.

Tips for driving in the rain

Top tips for driving in the rain

Driving in the rain? Although some accidents are unavoidable, there are a few things drivers should do to better ensure that they reach their destination safely, says Edna de Sousa, Product Manager for Auto Mart.

“All drivers – men and women – should familiarise themselves with road safety measures,” says De Sousa. “We are working longer hours, travelling further and much busier than ever before. It’s not just about avoiding an expensive break down, it’s also about personal safety.”

1. It starts with your insurance

The first step to being safer on the road isn’t mechanical – it’s in the paperwork. “I’ve often heard of instances where someone ended up stranded because of a burst tyre, and their insurance company refused to provide roadside assistance because the problem is viewed as a mechanical failure rather than an automotive accident. Ask your insurer to implicitly define their conditions for roadside assistance and accident cover. Wet weather may lead to damage from falling trees or hidden potholes – will the company provide a replacement vehicle or a lift home? Or merely a tow-away service?” De Sousa advises. “You need to know if they will be there for you when you need them to be.”

2. Know your tyres

“Your tyres are crucially important when driving in wet weather. When rubber gets wet, it gets slippery, which means that there is less friction from the tyres to the ground, which makes it easier for the car to veer off. This will of course be exasperated if the tread on your tyres has been worn down,” De Sousa explains. “The law states your tyre must have at least 1mm tread, but in wet weather it should ideally be thrice as much. Some tyres have indicator bars built in – if you can’t see these, it’s time to replace your tyre. Also be sure to regularly check for any cuts or tracks in your sidewall – if there are any grooves visible to your naked eye, it could be a sign that you are developing a leak.”

De Sousa advises regularly checking your tyre pressure and inflating your tyres as required. “Most cars will have this information written on a sticker in the door jam, but the average petrol attendant should be able to advise you.”

3. Get the right equipment

Wet weather can lead to burst tyres from hitting a water-logged pothole, or even a run-down battery should you leave your lights on. Make sure that you have the tools you need to get yourself out a jam. “Every car should have a spare tyre, jumper cables and a jack in the boot,” says De Sousa. “Be sure to check the condition of the spares every once in a while, and buy replacements when necessary.”

Changing a tyre is much simpler than it looks, according to De Sousa, and there are step by step instructions on YouTube that will teach you exactly how to do it. (Visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-h04z7U4g0g as a start).

4. Use your handbrake

In most instances, the rainy season means that there are a lot more cars on the road. “Driving on a rainy day is a stop-start affair. Use your handbrake rather than clutch control to avoid overheating – and yes, you can overheat in cold weather. Always keep a water bottle handy and be sure to check that your radiator has enough coolant inside – at least once a week, depending on how much driving you have to do.”

5. Keep your car well-maintained

“Handbrakes and windshield wipers are prime examples of parts that we don’t consider to be crucial – but they are,” De Sousa warns. “Replace your windshield wipers every few months or when any cracks or rips appear. Test your handbrake regularly – you will need it in heavy traffic.”

6. If in doubt, don’t

Lastly – be cautious around puddles and flooded roads. “Never force your way through a flooded bridge or street if you are unsure how deep the water is,” says De Sousa. “Apart from the risk of getting swept away by the current or shorting out the electrics, there’s also the danger of the engine sucking in water which will cause it to lock solid, smashing the rods, pistons and even the crankshafts…in short, causing major damage. If the water is dirty, leaves can block the radiator matrix and cause damage.”

De Sousa advises walking through the water to test the depth if possible. “Don’t drive through water that is deeper than 10cm when stagnant – and less than that if it’s moving. Even if you have a large 4×4, you should take caution and enter the water slowly before accelerating to keep air intake clear of water. Driving too fast through a puddle – even a shallow one – can lead to aquaplaning where the tyres no longer steer the car, causing you to lose control.”

By Edna de Sousa, Product Manager for Auto Mart

As part of the #HappyDriving campaign, Edna de Sousa will answer any road safety or car maintenance questions on Twitter on @AutomartSA using the hashtag #AskEdna.



4 reasons you will want to be the ”designated driver”

So, you and your friends are having a girls’ night, and you know it’s going to be a big one, there’s only one little problem- who’s driving?

According to Arrive Alive, drunk drivers cause almost 50% of road deaths. Our senses are greatly impaired when we’re under the influence and since driving requires so much of your attention (particularly at night), driving drunk should never even cross your mind.

We’ve all had this dilemma, apparently the last time you drove on a night out was six months ago, so all your friends have voted for you to be ‘designated driver’. Naturally you think now you can’t have fun, right? Wrong!

You can go out for the night with the girls, not drink at all and still have loads of fun. We give you 4 good reasons to feel good about being the so-called ‘designated driver’:

1. Save Money

Living on a budget? Well, now you get to buy that top that you so wanted (or at least that’s how some of us justify overspending on material things), and not feel bad about it. Sometimes buying drink after drink can end up breaking the bank, so you can feel good while sipping on your soft drink.

2. Peace of mind

Being the designated driver shows that you and your friends are responsible adults and care for each other’s safety above anything else. Knowing that no one will be involved in a car crash or getting pulled over, should make you feel good about the fact that someone is looking after the team.

3. Being the photographer

People under the influence of alcohol aren’t the best photographers (nor models). However, they prove to be good for some embarrassing pics- which is always good to have so you and your friends can have a good laugh over it when you get together again.

4.  No hangover

The best feeling is not feeling like you’re dying the next day. So, while all your friends are struggling to stay alive at work, you can have a productive day!




Solo female drivers: here’s how to avoid dangerous situations on the road

Advice for all the solo female drivers out there…

Bumper Bashing. If you experience a light bumper bash at night or on a quiet road, keep moving! It could be a scam to attack you.

Potholes. Stick to main roads if you can, as side roads are often unlit, making it hard to spot a pothole. If you do hit one, no matter how bad the damage, do not stop – get to a police or petrol station and check it there.

Go for Lockdown. If you break down alone or with kids in the car, late at night or on a quiet road, stay in your car, and keep doors locked and windows closed. Call the AA to send help and roadside security while you wait. Then phone a friend or your family to tell them where you are.

Stay Put. If you are pulled over by the police, it is your right to make sure your safety is not compromised. Remember, you do not have to get out of your vehicle at any time if you feel unsafe or have children in the car.

Park and Go. Planning to head home alone at night? Park in a well-lit and secure area. Keep your keys ready and don’t unlock your car from a distance. Get in, lock it, don’t faff around, go.

No Stopping! If you are alone, do not stop to assist motorists who appear to be injured or experiencing problems, even if there are children involved. It may be a set-up to rob or attack you. Just drive on. Same goes for hitchhikers. Not in your car, babe.

Key Note. Don’t leave your keys in your car and walk away, even if it’s just for a minute to run an errand, open a gate or buy a latte.

Out of Sight, Out of Reach. Always keep your valuables out of sight (not on the seat). Boot is best!

AA At Your Side:

The AA will send a locksmith if you lock yourself out of the car; do on-the-spot battery replacements and tyre changes; and bring fuel if your run out. It will send its Stand By You roadside security if you feel unsafe.

makeup in car

You should not be doing any of these things while driving

Most drivers on the road would say that they are pretty good drivers, and they feel they rarely put themselves in harms way when on the road – however this is actually a misjudgment. Just because you haven’t been in a life threatening accident does not mean you are a safe driver by any means. Having not been in an accident should not be what determines a safe driver from an unsafe one.

Here are 8 of the most dangerous things we tend to do while driving. These are things we do without thinking, but it’s a fact that even just looking away for a split second may cost you your life.

1. Eating while driving.

For most people eating a quick apple while driving might be fine, but if you’re munching on a sandwich and all of a sudden you look down because you just realised you messed all over yourself – that right there could be your fatal flaw.

2. Road rage.

People driving while they are upset is a common occurrence and you don’t have to have been upset by another driver to experience road rage. You might simply have had a bad day. Driving in this state is dangerous and causes distraction, which, in turn, affects a driver’s ability to concentrate. If you do become upset with another driver, you may tend to start driving aggressively which is an accident waiting to happen.

3. Reaching for something.

How often have you reached for your cellphone in your handbag on the floor or on the passenger seat? This could be the worst thing to do. If you are trying to reach something, you are distracting yourself from keeping your eyes on the road and you don’t have your hands properly placed on the steering wheel to respond to something if it were to happen.

4. Putting on makeup.

Apart from jamming the mascara brush into your eye, a lot of other things can go wrong if you put on makeup while driving. Think of it this way – you might not have a face to put on any make up after an accident. Therefore, rather leave the make up while you’re driving.

5. Changing Clothes.

There is not a single article of clothing that should be changed while driving. Changing clothes involves taking your foot off the brake, hands off the steering wheel, and eyes off the road.

6. Driving with headphones.

If you drive with headphones, you automatically take away one of the two things that keeps you focused on the road – sound. If you are driving with headphones or ear buds in, you are tossing your sense of sound out the car window.

7. Driving with a child or pet on your lap.

Driving with a child or dog on your lap is one of the worst mistakes you can make, yet we see it all the time. It is simply unsafe to transport a pet or small infant in the car without an appropriate car seat.

8. Using your phone or tab while driving.

Everybody knows that texting, taking a phone call or taking a selfie  while driving is dangerous, yet countless people do it. It not only averts your attention, it means you aren’t focused on the road, and hands are not on the wheel – which are the important things you need to stay safe on the road.




Hand picking up windscreen wiper

Do you know which components of a vehicle are most necessary?

We are in charge of what cars we want and need. If you’re a constantly mobile person who travels alone, you don’t need a large bakkie or minivan. If you’re a single parent with a number of children, it probably doesn’t help to have a small car. Similarly, to help us with our driving experience, it might help to consider what kinds of components are necessary for our cars.


Aside from ascertaining if a product works, we’re also concerned that the product in question is secure. This applies to houses and cars, of course, but the important thing is we have ways to make sure our items stay safe. Security is the primary concern for any owner, considering how expensive cars are.

This is why a highly effective alarm system is essential. Adding this component shouldn’t actually be a question of whether you do it but when. Even from a finance perspective, it makes no sense to avoid safety since anything happening to the items you’ve acquired means more cost in the long run.


Comfort is of course another prerequisite. One of the best ways we can achieve this is by obtaining more space. This could result in various responses: for example, either obtaining a bigger vehicle like a bakkie or 4×4; or it could mean getting a trailer to go behind your vehicle. Of course, we could have further concerns if we did acquire this.

For example, if you decide to acquire a bakkie due to wanting more space and therefore comfort, you might be concerned about leaving items exposed. This can be solved by obtaining a bakkie canopy to help protect and secure your items, however.


Another essential consideration is handling. For example, not only should we make sure we have a high quality spare tyre but tyres themselves should be of excellent quality and regularly tested.

Tyres aren’t the only parts that matter. Batteries, spark plugs, and even windscreen wipers are all essential and overlooked components. Bad windscreen wipers result in obscured visibility, putting your own and others’ lives at risk. Combine this with unchecked tyres that might struggle on the road and you have a very dangerous situation.

The point is that there are many components that go into a good car – they are all there for a reason. Bad quality or erosion to any degree could lead to an unfortunate situation – whether that means the vehicle is stolen or damaged, or you yourself hurt. Others may seem merely aesthetic but they matter too.