Tag Archives: safety

8 driving tips for the changing seasons


The seasons are starting to change already which has an effect on our driving habits. As the sun is starting to rise later and set earlier, many drivers are starting to find themselves driving into the glare.

While squinting as you drive may seem like the best way to handle this, it stops you from seeing all the hazards and there are better ways to help you see.

Also read: SA requires extra vigilance from motorists in bad weather, says AA

Time for a change

The MD of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert, said safe driving during the change of the seasons needs a change in driving style. There are various things which we can do to which will increase your vision.

These include:

  1. Raise your seat position so you are higher up.
  2. Lower your visor before you leave so you are not blinded suddenly as you round a corner.
  3. If you can, leave earlier or later when the position of the sun will not be shining directly into your eyes.
  4. Change your route and find a way where the sun is not shining into your eyes or where there is more shade providing protection.
  5. Leave safe following distances and switch your headlights on so other drivers can see you better.
  6. Slow down. Always change your driving speed to suit the conditions not only the speed limit.
  7. Do not use high-gloss vinyl cleaners on your dashboard.
  8. Ensure your windscreen is clean on both the inside and outside. Keep water in the windscreen washer reservoir full in case dirt worsens the glare.

Also read: 13 road safety tips for driving in the rain

Another important habit is to wear sunglasses especially ones which are polarised.

“These are designed to considerably reduce glare as well as protect your eyes from the damage staring into the sun can do. Studies say wearing polarised glasses is the only truly effective way of reducing glare. If you wear glasses you can also get antireflective lenses and other options which can protect your eyes too,” said Herbert.

Source: MasterDrive

5 stretching exercises for when you’re on the road

The physical fitness of a driver is often overlooked and much of being a safe driver is being fit to drive in the first place.

Structured exercise programs bring obvious benefits, but most people can move toward better fitness by changing their daily lifestyle to incorporate more activity. Muscles used in any activity, any time of day, contribute to fitness.

For those who are behind the wheel for most of the day might consider doing some basic stretching exercises when making a stop:

  1. Leg stretch

Stand on one foot and place the heel of the other foot on the bumper of your car. Bend over and touch your toe. Change legs and repeat. This movement helps to relax the calf and thigh muscles that become contracted while operating the foot controls.

2. Calf Stretch

Find a kerb and place your toes on the kerb and your heel on the surface below. Rock your weight forward until you feel a slight stretch in the tendon or your calf.

3. Twists

Stand with slightly bent knees. Hands at your sides. Relax. Twist your waist back and forth swinging your arms out fully letting them flail along. This seemingly simple movement has many, many benefits. First, it helps to realign your back, especially the vertebrae in the lumbar region. These vertebras get compressed while driving. Second, it gives your internal organs a good massage, helping them do a more efficient job. This internal massage leads to improved circulation and better digestion.

Also read: Are you fit enough to drive? 

4. Arches

Stand about three feet from the side of your car facing away from it. Reach up with your hands over your head. Arch your back and reach behind you to grab the rain gutter or roof rack. Lean on back trying to touch your head to the window. Hold for at least 30 seconds. This exercise is a great overall stretch. It eliminates most back pain due to driving and is an excellent tummy toner as well.

5. Fender push-ups

Stand about three feet away from the fender of your car facing it this time. Keep your legs and back straight and lean over and support your weight on the fender. Now, bend your elbows in a push-up motion. This will give you a light shoulder tone up and enhance circulation.

To improve overall conditioning, health experts recommend at least 30 minutes of moderately intense physical activity on all or most days of the week. Examples of moderate activity include brisk walking, cycling, swimming, or doing home repairs or yard work. If you can’t get in 30 minutes all at once, aim for shorter periods of activity—at least 10 minutes—that add up to a half hour per day.

Source: Arrive Alive

5 tips for a safer Easter holiday from Nissan SA

Just when you thought you were over the festive season madness and settled into a work, home and school routine again, it’s time to start all over again.

If you’re brave enough to repeat the exercise so soon, Nthabiseng Motsepe, Nissan’s General Manager, Corporate Communications gives some advice on travelling during South Africa’s Easter exodus.

Along with the end-of-year festive season, Easter is one of South Africa’s most celebrated holidays. Though coming hot on the heels of our last big break, most of us feel the urge to make the most of the long weekend – perhaps even extended to a week or two depending on how we can wangle our leave.

Also read: Nissan unveils the fifth-generation Micra

It’s not all chocolate eggs and Easter bunnies, though. Like December, it can be a stressful time as people take to the roads again.  Perhaps to attend a religious festival, to visit family and friends, or for some fun in what’s left of the summer sun.

1. Put safety first

Whether your trip is long or short, don’t become a statistic.

More than 1,700 people died on South Africa’s roads during last year’s festive period. About 10 percent were children under the age of four.

Despite these concerning statistics, this remains a serious issue on our roads.

Make sure your car is roadworthy, drive responsibly and observe the rules of the road. Make it non-negotiable that every adult and child is buckled up.

Keep the joy – and every family member –  alive at Easter.

2. Plot your route carefully

If you’re venturing far from home, it’s wise to check the state of the roads on your planned route.

Our recent weather extremes have caused lots of potholes and uneven surfaces on many national and provincial roads.

It might be best to make a detour even if it adds time to your journey. You don’t want to be held up with a puncture or more severe damage to your vehicle. This is when Nissan’s 24-hour Roadside Assist comes in handy, getting you back on the road or towing you to the nearest facility.

Your aim is to keep on the move, protect your vehicle, and ensure your family’s safety.

While we’re on the subject of potential road hazards, be on the lookout for pedestrians and animals, especially when you’re off the beaten track.

Also read: Nissan Leaf’s power could be used in homes and commercial applications

3. Enjoy the thrill of an off-road trip

Families wanting to get as far from the madding crowd as possible will most likely opt for an offroad trip.

There’s plenty of scope in South Africa and further afield for an off-road adventure, a game-viewing experience, or traversing some of our vast national parks.

It’s also a chance to put the features of your  4×4,  SUV or crossover to the test, away from asphalt roads and the grind of city driving.

If you are in the market for a 4×4, visit your nearest Nissan dealership for all the information on the recently launched all-new Nissan Navara. It’s rugged and redefined for that boy’s trip away or an off-road adventure for the entire family.

If you are going to be fairly isolated, there are a few necessities that you really should consider packing along.

  • An excellent navigation system.
  • A compressor and air pressure gauge to adjust tyre pressure as necessary.
  • Fuel reserves.
  • Not to mention a plentiful supply of food and water.

4. Explore your surrounds

If you’re not in the mood to travel far, you’d be amazed at how much there is on your own doorstep.

Whatever the family enjoys for recreation you’re sure to find something that everyone can enjoy quite close to home.

It could be museums or music, action or animals, or just a leisurely stroll through the park.

Make a day of it with a picnic and incorporate some fun activities like an Easter egg treasure hunt.

Find time to put your feet up. A bit of pampering will also help to relax you and recharge your batteries. So if you’re already feeling the strain, don’t feel guilty about booking some time at a nearby spa!

5. Check out local activities

Have a look at your local newspaper for a calendar of Easter activities. There’s usually something special on at this time of year.

We’re gearing up for our annual hosting of the Nissan Easter Festival. This year it runs from 8th to 17th April at Kyalami Equestrian Park in Gauteng.

There are the usual equestrian events, as well as a non-stop programme of activities for the whole family. Plus the chance to test-drive our amazing range of family, work and recreational vehicles.

Whatever you get up to and wherever you drive, make the most of the welcome downtime.

Source: QuickPic

Transport Minister to launch 2017 Easter Road Safety campaign

The Minister of Transport Ms Dipuo Peters will officially launch the 2017 Easter Road Safety Campaign in Somerset West on Friday, 31 March 2017.

As part of the Easter launch campaign, Minister Peters will address law enforcement officers and also lead joint law enforcement parade and operation.

Also read: 7 tips for a safer Easter weekend

Last year the number of fatalities on the roads saw a massive decrease of 46%. 287 people died on South Africa’s roads in 2015, and last year that number declined to 156 deaths. The Minister said this was due to a higher visibility of law enforcement on the roads after she expected a “zero tolerance and no mercy for traffic violations on the road”.

Also read: The AA’s recommendations for your Easter trip this year

During the launch Minister Peters will be joined by the Deputy Minister of Transport Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga, provincial MECs for Public Works, Roads and Transport and Community Safety and Liaison, CEOs of Transport State Owned Entities, key transport stakeholders and law enforcement officers.

The details of the 2017 Easter Road Safety campaign launch are as follows:

Date: Friday, 31 March 2016

Time: 09h00

Venue: Cardinal Weighbridge, Somerset West (located between N2 and R102 )

Source: Arrive Alive

Ford SA safety recall for Fiesta ST models

Ford South Africa announced it has voluntarily expanded the safety recall for the 1.6-litre GTDi engine to include the Ford Fiesta ST model.

In the affected vehicles, a lack of coolant circulation could cause an engine to overheat, resulting in a crack in the cylinder head. A cracked cylinder head can result in a pressurised oil leak. Oil that comes into contact with a hot engine surface increases the risk of a fire in the engine compartment.

In South Africa, the expanded safety recall includes approximately 1,078 Fiesta ST models produced between September 2012 and December 2014.

Also read: Ford Performance reveals next generation Ford Fiesta ST!

“The safety of our customers is our top priority, and the expansion of the safety recall is being rolled out as a precautionary measure on the Fiesta ST,” said Jeff Nemeth, President and CEO, Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa.

The Fiesta ST models will receive hardware and software upgrades, which include the fitment of a coolant level sensor with supporting hardware and software changes at no charge to the customer.

The necessary parts are expected to be available by the fourth quarter, and customers will be informed when they should book their vehicle in for the repair.

Also read: Over 63% of Kuga 1.6 models have been recalled – Ford

Customers can continue to drive their vehicles, but should visit their Ford dealer if their vehicle exhibits a coolant leak, overheating or frequently needs coolant added.  Customers should continue to check their vehicles coolant levels and can refer to their owner’s manual for instructions on how to check their coolant level and what to do if it is low.

For any queries or concerns, customers can contact their Ford Dealer or Ford Customer Service at 0860 011 022 or e-mail CRC3@ford.com.

Source: QuickPic

5 tips on how to use technology on the road

Mobile communications and GPS systems have become very common in cars. Whether you’re connecting to your Bluetooth or looking for the nearest Shell with your GPS, these technological devices have become a fundamental part of our daily lives.

IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards Richard Gladman gives advice on how to use technology to complement your driving.

Also read: 7 tips for a safer Easter weekend

  1. Whilst a GPS or navigation aids in getting you from A to B try to not become reliant on it. It is important to pay attention to road signs and the road ahead, in case there’s a diversion sign that the device may not have picked up.
  2. Get to know your GPS or navigation before you set off and always programme it when stationary. Many people trust their navigation systems not to get them lost but you also need to know about roadworks, diversions and places to stop. Keep an old fashioned map to ensure that you limit the chances of going completely off track.
  3. Create your playlist before you start your journey. Taking your eyes off the wheel to look or adjust your music can often prove to be hazardous. It only takes a few seconds distraction to cause an accident. Remember to also keep your music down in some circumstances; your hearing can keep you safe, so be prepared to turn the music off.
  4. Don’t make or take calls when driving and never text or engage with social media on your smartphone. Through extensive research it has been shown that making calls, even hands-free affects concentration and slows reactions when driving.
  5. Some vehicles have the ability to create a Wi-Fi zone allowing internet access. This should be used as a luxury for passengers whilst ensuring they do not distract you as the driver. For instance, a computer screen reflecting in the dark is a dangerous distraction.

Also read: Top tips for sharing the road with vulnerable road users

“The latest driver assistance systems can be the perfect back-up to cover our occasional human failings but are no substitutes for concentration. The driver must always remain connected to what is going on around them,” said Gladman.

“Multi-tasking is a myth and all too often that glance away can become a complete switch-off to an emerging risk.  No text, tweet, check-in or status update is worth crashing for.”

Source: Newspress