Tag Archives: safety

Pit stop drinking: a new trend in SA? – MasterDrive

This year serious concern has been voiced over the continued tendency to drink and drive. The Transport Minister is one of the people concerned about this habit and is proposing changing drinking and driving to a schedule five offence, which is the same category under which murder falls.

The Managing Director of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert, said while he commends this step, he is not convinced it will bring about big enough change, fast enough.

“The move to change the blood alcohol level to 0%, which was started almost two years ago, still has not come to fruition. I believe the greatest potential to bring about real change lies in changing mindsets of drivers. Yet, this still remains the biggest challenge to reducing drinking and driving,” Herbert said.

Also read: Extended liquor trading hours may exacerbate drinking and driving  

An example of the need to change mindsets was seen over the December holiday period. All road safety experts would recommend taking a break while en route to Durban.

“None of them, however, would recommend drinking during this break,” he added.

“A colleague of mine works as a paramedic in the Van Reenen’s Pass area during the holiday season. He said drivers who stop along their route, open their boots and enjoy some whisky in the middle of their trip. This is becoming somewhat of a tradition for many South Africans. In fact, some people have converted their boots into fridges.”

Also read: Silly things people believe about drinking and driving 

Herbert added that the subsequent devastation this caused on the roads over the festive season was indescribable. Along with high speeds, reckless driving for the conditions and unroadworthy vehicles, the carnage on that stretch of road was the worst his colleague saw in his 34 years of working there.

While more severe legislation is one very important part of dealing with this blight on our society, members of the society need to play a role as well.

“We need to emphasise to as many people as possible that every tragic drunken driving crash, every night spent in jail for drinking and driving and every life destroyed starts with a decision. The decision to drink and drive,” Herbert said.

“This is a link to a video I came across a while ago which spoke very loudly to me about the consequences when drivers make the wrong choice.”

MasterDrive is an Advanced Driver training company up-skilling in excess of 1500 candidates monthly.

Source: MasterDrive

New Audi Q5 receives five-star crash test score

The newest Audi Q5 has been awarded five stars by Euro NCAP (New Car Assessment Programme) – which is the organisation’s highest possible rating.

The top score means the second generation of the best-selling SUV is among the safest cars in its class.

The Audi Q5 showed off its strengths in every type of test, scoring points for occupant protection, child safety and pedestrian protection. Also contributing to the SUV’s rating were the driver assistance systems that are fitted as standard equipment – including pre sense city, the emergency braking system that reacts to vehicles up ahead of the car and to pedestrians.

Also read: Audi extends Q family with compact SUV, the all-new Audi Q2

The Q5 achieved excellent values for crash safety, even though its overall weight has been reduced by up to 90 kg. The outstanding NCAP test results underscore the high standards the brand with the four rings upholds in the areas of active and passive safety, and in lightweight construction.

Euro NCAP has been conducting comparative testing of new cars for crash safety since 1997. The testing organisation’s membership comprises a number of European transport ministries and automobile clubs, insurance companies and consumer protection groups.

Also read: Audi is tops when it comes to quality

Its comprehensive range of test requirements is considerably more demanding than the specifications set by European legislators.

Source: Newspress




My top essentials when driving long distance

We have done so many posts on how to prepare for a road trip. But I thought I would share with you what I do and what I take with me when I hit the open road. It doesn’t all have to be about safety. But a lot of it should be.

  1. Music

As you may have gathered from my YouTube videos, I love to sing in the car. It passes the time and keeps me rejuvenated. I always make sure I have a great playlist so that when that open road starts becoming the very long road to nowhere, I have something to keep me occupied. I might even pretend to be on stage in front of a million fans…not really, but maybe!

Also read: The 6 beautiful road trips in South Africa

  1. Snacks and water

Very important! Water being number one. I have to be hydrated while on the road. The minute I run out of water my mind starts playing tricks on me and I fear I will break down in the middle of nowhere and die of dehydration. You would think I was driving in the middle of the Australian Outback when in actual fact I am never more than 50 km from the nearest town, but still. And snacks just make a road trip that much more fun.

  1. Safety checks

The tyres on my car are always checked before I hit the open road. So many accidents are caused by damaged or smooth tyres, so why risk it. I also have all the necessities checked like oil and water etc.

  1. A phone and a phone charger

You really don’t want to be stuck in the middle of nowhere with no phone or worse, a dead phone. A phone is not only for safety reasons of course, it can also house your music and of course, Google Maps!

Also read: 10 road trip tricks you need to know

  1. A pillow and my book

Now this might sound weird, but if I have a driving partner I like to share the driving. The minute it is my turn to hop in the passenger seat, I recline and hit my book, pillow under head. Within minutes I am napping. I never said I was the best road trip partner now did I?

Email womenonwheels@assocmedia.co.za and tell us your road trip necessities and where you love to go.


New safety tech in all-new Volvo XC60 to debut in Geneva

Volvo Cars have announced that the all-new Volvo XC60 will be revealed at the Geneva Motor Show on 07 March 2017.

The second generation of the best-selling Volvo will feature three new advanced driver assistance features aimed at keeping the driver out of trouble.

The new safety features are designed to provide the driver with automatic steering assistance or support – when required – to help avoid potential collisions. Volvo believes that these new features will make the new XC60 one of the safest cars on the road.

“We have been working with collision avoidance systems for many years and we can see how effective they are. In Sweden alone, we have seen a decline of around 45 percent in frontal impacts thanks to our City Safety collision warning with autobrake system. With the all-new XC60 we are determined to take the next step in reducing avoidable collisions with the addition of steering support and assistance systems,” said Malin Ekholm, Senior Director at Volvo Cars’ Safety Centre in Gothenburg.

Also read: Pilot Assist now standard for semi-autonomous Volvo XC90

City Safety has been updated in the all-new XC60 to now include steering support, which engages when automatic braking alone would not help avoid a potential collision. In such circumstances, the car will provide steering assistance to avoid the obstacle ahead. City Safety helps to avoid collisions with vehicles, pedestrians and large animals. Steering support is active between 50 and 100 km/h.

Volvo Cars have also added a new system called Oncoming Lane Mitigation, which helps drivers to avoid collisions with vehicles in an oncoming lane. The system works by alerting a driver who unwittingly wandered out of their driving lane by providing automatic steering assistance, guiding them back into their own lane and out of the path of any oncoming vehicle detected by the car. This new system is active between 60 and 140 km/h.

Volvo Cars’ optional Blind Spot Information System (BLIS), which alerts drivers to the presence of vehicles in their blind spot, has also received an update to include steer assist functionality that helps to avoid potential collisions with vehicles in a blind spot by steering the car back into its own lane and away from danger.

Also read: Car Review: Volvo S90

“All three of these new features represent clear steps in our work towards fully autonomous cars,” added Ekholm.

“We have all of the benefits of the safety technology, we introduced in our larger 90 cluster cars in the all-new XC60. This is fully in-line with our strategic approach to develop automotive safety systems based on real-life, real-road safety. Our vision is that no one will be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo car by the year 2020.”

The all-new XC60 will deliver a host of high-end safety systems, just like its larger 90 cluster siblings, including Large Animal Detection, Run-off Road Mitigation and the semi-autonomous driver support and convenience system Pilot Assist, as an option.

Source: QuickPic

Uber announces partnership with multiple security response services

Uber South Africa have announced that they will be partnering with a number of security response services in an effort to improve their safety and security.

These new partnerships will see security and medical services dispatched in emergency situations in a reduced time.

The partnership involves an improvement to Uber’s current security number that is available to all drivers in the Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and Port Elizabeth areas. This security number links to a central control room, where now, a  geo-specific security or a medical response partner can be dispatched within minutes.

Previously, Uber’s emergency number put drivers in touch with one dedicated security company that was less localised and didn’t include medical response. Geo-specific or suburb specific means help will get to the driver-partners quicker than before. Security officers or patrols won’t need to travel from a different area to attend to an emergency.

Also read: This is what you’d save if you sold your car and used Uber instead. 

“In essence, we are connecting drivers with the closest security company in their area. Unfortunately, driver-partners have expressed safety concerns, and we are committed to making them feel as safe as possible when using our app. This improvement is a step in the right direction, as we look towards implementing a more technological solution in the future,” said David Myers, Head of Trust and Safety, Middle East and Africa at Uber.

From September to December last year, Uber implemented SOS buttons in Johannesburg – where 500 driver-partner vehicles were fitted with buttons. Once these buttons were triggered, it alerted Uber’s central control room.

“We learned a great deal from the pilot last year, most importantly, that the response time needed to be reduced.

“We are focusing on our security number operated by a central control room, and making use of multiple private security companies who are location specific to try and reduce the response time and get help to partners quicker than before,” added Myers.

Also read: Uber to use Volvo cars for autonomous driving

Calls to the control room will now be recorded for possible use by authorities in investigations.

The improved security number and partnership agreement will be launched in Johannesburg and will reach Cape Town, Durban and Port Elizabeth in March this year. All cities in which Uber South Africa operates will support the improved security number.


The 5 worst things to do while driving sober

A study conducted by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in the United States investigated the distractions we encounter when driving as reported by CBS News.

The survey claims that four million of the nearly 11 million crashes every year in the US alone could be avoided if there was no distraction.

Although the research was conducted in the USA, this information can be relevant in South Africa as well as worldwide, as we too have many distracted drivers on our roads.

Also read: Distracted driving still a massive problem in SA!

Without even having a drop of alcohol and being in perfect health, here is a list of the five worst distractions, going from bad to worse:

  1. Operating the car radio while driving doubles the risk of a crash

Besides having a number of radio stations to choose from, we have alternate options of using discs, USB sticks and even plugging in our phones. Switching between all these options can get quite distracting especially when your focus is supposed to be on the road only.

2. Using a touch screen menu

This you’ll find in virtually all new cars. The use of a touch screen menu increases the risk by a factor of 4.6.

3. Texting while driving

It is surprising to see that texting while driving is not the worst distraction – it is, however, still a very bad idea. According to NAS, an accident is 6.1 times more likely to happen when texting.

WATCH: Horrifying texting and driving footage

4. Reaching for an object out of immediate reach

This could be a cell phone that fell on the ground or a bag on the back seat – that’s out of reach. In cases like these, the driver is forced out of his/her driving position. As NAS puts it, a driver’s “eyellipse” or field of vision is altered when the person moves – this is disorientating, especially when the windshield and/or rearview mirrors float out of view.

5. Use of cell phone – to make calls

It is the process of dialling a number to make a phone call that is by far the worst driving distraction according to NAS. This tops the scale by a factor of 12.2.

Also read: Safety tips for driving with “vulnerable” passengers

Arrive Alive suggests the following tips on how to avoid being distracted when driving:

  • Stay focused and alert at all times
  • Practise short quick glances and avoid prolonged staring
  • Never read whilst driving – rather pull off the road to read
  • Do not attempt to change or pull off clothing while driving
  • Conduct personal grooming before leaving or after reaching your destination
  • Do not allow passengers to interfere with your concentration
  • Make sure children and  pets are properly restrained before you start driving – and give children items to occupy themselves
  • Use pet carriers or portable kennels to restrict the ability of animals to roam around in the vehicle.
  • Pull over and stop if small children require attention that could divert your concentration from the road
  • Avoid eating and drinking while driving – fumbling with napkins, wrappers and beverages means you’re not watching the road.
  • Plan your trip in advance and allow yourself time to stop and have a bit to eat.