Tag Archives: safety

Potholes

A how-to-guide in navigating potholes!

Driving on South African roads, especially in certain areas of the country, can feel like you are trying to navigate a minefield. Even the most experienced drivers don’t stand a chance on our eroded roads. Not only do potholes pose potential danger to you, they can also seriously harm your tyres.

They are often hard to see and so are difficult to avoid, especially at night or when driving in heavy traffic which doesn’t allow you to swerve out of the way.

Tiger Wheel & Tyre put together a few pothole safety tips to help avoid them:

  • Remember that properly inflated tyres will hold up better against potholes than tyres that are under inflated
  • Other than simply being good driving practice, leaving enough room between you and the car in front of you can be critical in avoiding potholes
  • If you can’t avoid a pothole altogether make sure you slow down before you hit it and never brake directly over a pothole as this can actually cause more damage than speeding over it
  • In the case where you have to drive directly over a pothole make sure to hold the steering wheel firmly to avoid losing control
  • Watch out for innocent looking puddles, these are often potholes in disguise

What is the damage a pothole can cause?

  • Is your car pulling to the left or right, is your alignment is off?
  • Uneven tyre wear?
  • Low tyre pressure?
  • Bulges, tears or blisters on sidewall of your tyre?
  • Indents in the wheel rim?

Potholes should be reported to local municipalities to get repaired and if you have any of the above symptoms or suspect you have tyre damage visit your nearest Tiger Wheel & tyre to have your tyres checked.

Drunken driving

Drunken Driving: The insurance folly

We have posted much on drunken driving! Most drivers are aware if they are involved in a crash after consuming alcohol, their insurance provider will not cover their claim. What many drivers may not be aware of is that it is much easier to repudiate a claim based on suspected alcohol consumption than what it is to be arrested for it.

In a recent radio interview Deanne Wood, from the Short-term Insurance Ombudsman, said there have been significant increases in repudiation of claims for motor collisions involving the consumption of alcohol. What drivers may not be aware of is the requirements to prove alcohol was involved are easier than one would think.

This is because there is a difference between criminal standards and civil standards and insurers only need to prove civil standards to repudiate a claim. Criminal standards require you to prove beyond doubt that alcohol, above the legal limits, was consumed whereas civil standards are based on the balance of probabilities.

5 myths about drunken driving

In the interview Wood explains what this means for drivers. “Many restaurants have CCTV cameras and the insurers will get the footage and watch what you as the driver were doing and if you consumed alcohol before you had your accident. That is sufficient to repudiate a claim.”

The MD of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert, also points out another bit of information that Wood mentioned which could trip up many potential drunk drivers. “If you are tempted to put misleading information into your claim, such as where you were before an accident, to avoid it reflecting negatively on you, seriously reconsider this. If you are discovered the claim can be repudiated. Furthermore, many insurers do go to great lengths to verify what you say.”

Herbert agrees with Wood in that the financial implications of disregarding your policy can be dire. An insurer is entitled to repudiate your claim and the claims of others involved in the crash. If you cannot meet the cost of these repairs, you may be required to sell assets to do so.

“Drinking and driving can have many devastating consequences. If, despite these consequences, you are still tempted to drink and drive because you think you can escape the law, remember it may not be so easy to escape your insurer,” says Herbert.

 

fit-enough-to-drive_istock

Are you fit enough to drive?

Being fit enough to drive depends on a number of things: your levels of fatigue and stress, your general health and your eyesight are all major factors contributing to your ability to drive well.

Ever find yourself having a bad day as a driver? Let’s put the typical contributing factors like bad traffic, other ignorant drivers and road works aside.

There are some things you need to make sure you keep in check in order to be fit enough to drive:

Get enough sleep 

Driving when you’re tired can severely affect your ability to react and stay alert and can cause you to have an accident. If you’re not a confident driver, being tired makes you less likely to relax. There’s nothing worse than a tense or anxious driver so make sure you get a good night’s sleep before embarking on long journeys.

Expand driving experiences 

Research proves that the more you drive different cars the better your driving skills become. The same goes for road environments and the amount of experience you have driving in different terrains/highways/routes. Don’t be afraid of driving someone else’s (family member/friends) car if you get the opportunity.

Get your eyes checked regularly 

Did you know that 59% of road accidents can be attributed to poor eyesight? It’s estimated that eyesight can start to deteriorate as early as the age of twenty, according to smartdrivinguk Routine eye checks are important because having good eyesight is a basic requirement for safe driving. If your vision is poor you’ll be less able to fully function while driving and be qualified as unfit to drive.

Maintain confidence 

There’s nothing worse than a paranoid driver! Drivers who hesitate are more likely to cause accidents. Getting over you fear of driving, especially if you’re a new driver takes practice yet there are many people with years of driving experience who are still too scared to travel along highways and busy roads. Try practice driving during quieter times along highways and places you don’t usually feel confident driving.

Read more; How to get over your fear of driving

Don’t show off 

On the other end of the scale, over-confidence and/or showing off while driving is a recipe for disaster. Showing off to your friends or partner while driving is not only annoying, it’s down-right dangerous too! A fit driver understands that doing wheelies and hand-brake-turns just makes you look stupid.

NEVER drink and drive 

And lastly, although most importantly: a fit driver is a sober driver. Driving under the influence is as common as it is dangerous and with SA’s high road death toll due to drunk driving, we all need to be more aware of the dangers of driving after a few drinks. There are some great ride-sharing alternatives, like Uber, in SA which leaves us with no excuse for get behind the wheel after drinking.

Driving in rain Flash Flood

Flash Flood: What to do if you are caught in it

With the drought in certain parts of the country, many South Africans were relieved to see the heavy downfall of rain in Gauteng recently. Weather services have warned to expect more heavy rain this week in the late afternoons. While this is good news, pedestrians and motorists now face the threat of flash floods, especially when crossing low lying bridges. Last week a Pretoria man died when his car was caught in a flash flood.

Flash floods and rain can be dangerous, be sure to check out our top tips for driving in the rain

First and foremost, avoid low-lying bridges, areas prone to flash floods or large pools of water in the road wherever possible. If, however, you are unable to avoid one of these situations, the MD of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert, tells us the least we should do.

Pools of water:
· First try estimate the depth of the water. Avoid driving through water which comes to the middle of your tyre. Even if you avoid being swept away you risk serious damage to your car
· Most drivers risk driving through a pool of water but roads which collect water are more vulnerable to collapse and it is easy to underestimate their depth
· Drive in the middle of a road where the water is at its lowest
· Pass one car at a time, do not drive through water against oncoming vehicles

Fast-flowing water:
· Never drive through fast flowing water.
· It only takes 15 cm to touch the bottoms of most cars and consequently cause loss of control or stalling
· Your car tyres will lift off the tar at 30cm of water where you can lose control or get washed away
· Even 4X4s can be washed away in 60cm of water
· Drive slowly and steadily through while in first or second gear or the lowest gear in automatic vehicles
· Once you are through the water, lightly touch your brake a few times to dry them off.
· If your car stalls and you are not in danger of being swept away do not restart the car. Rather get a mechanic to check no water has made its way into the engine

When caught in an unexpected flash flood:
· If suddenly you start losing grip it might be because the car is starting to float.
· Open the door to let some of the water in which will weigh the car down and allow the tyres to grip the road again
· If you are in danger of being swept away abandon the vehicle once you have an opportunity to do so safely.
· If you are swept away by water when you exit the car, lift your toes and point them downstream and manoeuvre yourself around obstacles.

Flash flood: Do you know how to escape from a sinking car?
Road trip ideas - route 62

Road trippin’ solo

Taking a road trip is an amazing opportunity to get out of town and explore new places. You’ve probably been on a few great adventures in your life. You in the driver’s seat and your best buddy in the passenger seat, it’s a recipe for good memories. But, have you ever considered hitting the road on your own?

Travelling alone is something everyone should do at least once in their life. And going on a solo road trip is the perfect way to do it. Here’s why:

It gives you time to reflect

We all need to be alone sometimes. We need a moment to clear our heads and contemplate our lives. The open road offers you the time and freedom to reflect without the distractions of everyday life. When you’re travelling with a partner they tend to want to talk or interact and that leaves you with very little time to think. And even if they’re taking a nap, you’ll still be aware of their presence. You need to spend at least a day or two alone before you can truly see things from a new perspective.

You can go wherever you want

You don’t have to consider anyone else’s feelings when deciding where to go. And it’s not just about the destination. You get to decide which little towns to stop in, what roadside coffee shops to visit and where you want to spend the night. It may sound silly or trivial, but having the freedom to change directions and hit a new road is a great feeling.

In fact, it’s all up to you

Ever fight over the radio with your driving partner? It’s annoying. When you hit the road alone, you are completely in charge of your road trip playlist. It’s the little things that make the experience all that more pleasant. And it’s not just about choosing the snacks and music. Everything is entirely up to you, including changing tyres, making sure you have enough petrol and checking the oil and water. You have no one to count on but yourself. It will give you a sense of independence you probably haven’t felt before. You have no family or friends to call. You’re out there on your own. It’s scary but liberating at the same time.

So, get out there and find a reason to go on a road trip alone, whether it’s to see a new part of the country or check out private car sales in another town. It’ll be a truly unique and exhilarating experience.

 

 

ABS brakes

Safely using safety technology: The ABS of braking

Your anti-lock braking system is an active safety feature which you need to know how to use before you can harness its full advantage. ABS helps your car maintain stability and control and prevents your brakes from locking during an emergency stop. Remember, this technology does not replace good driving skills but can only work properly if you have a clear understanding of how it operates and only when used in conjunction with defensive driving habits.

  • Know the difference between cars that are fitted with ABS and those that have not.
  • Know how the brake pedal will react and then maintain a firm and continuous pressure on it and do not pump the brake.
  • Pumping the brake turns the system on and off. ABS ‘pumps’ the brakes for you at a much faster rate.
  • If you take your foot off the brake it will disengage the system.
  • Whether you have ABS or not you still need to keep a safe following distance of three or more seconds.
  • Practice emergency stops so you can become accustomed to the ABS.
  • Depending on how old your vehicle is, you can expect mechanical noise and pedal pulsations when ABS is activated.
  • Continue to steer normally once you engage ABS.
  • If there is a problem with the ABS system, the warning light will indicate this and conventional braking will start.
  • Know where to look for this emergency light. If in doubt, consult your user manual.

To learn more about safely using safety technology, give MasterDrive a call on 0861 100 618. Their defensive driving training will give you everything you need to handle most situations.