Tag Archives: safety

Teenage Girl Tearing L Plate After Passing Driving Test

Helpful and potentially life-saving driving tips for beginners

Are you a beginner or feel you need to up your game when it comes to your driving skills? If you are not a frequent driver, the road can be a scary place. Refresh your driving skills with these tips from a professional driving instructor from Toyota’s advanced driving.

You have to drive with the right attitude:

Although exterior and interior checks of your car are vital, an attitude check is just as helpful in preventing accidents. A positive, pro-active attitude can help reduce collisions and make the driving experience more pleasurable.

Be very aware and vigilant

Constantly changing conditions demand frequent alterations in course or speed. Make sure you remain aware of all other road users, including the positions of pedestrians and other vehicles.

Night Riders

Driving at night comes with its own unique set of challenges. Good, clear visibility is vital, so make sure that your windscreen is clean and that your windscreen wipers are used in wet weather. Keep your windscreen free from mist at all times.

Not A Bright Idea

Sometimes a driver will be dazzled by the glare of lights from an oncoming vehicle, often because its lights (although dipped) are badly adjusted. On such occasions, don’t lose your temper and resist the temptation to retaliate by switching your own lights on to full beam. Two ‘blinded’ drivers hurtling towards each other in the night is a recipe for disaster.

Slow Down

At 20 kph a minor driving error can easily be corrected but at 120 kph the same error could prove deadly. Never attempt to drive over the speed limit as it leads to late reactions in an emergency.

Preventing Collisions

In South Africa, one person is killed every hour in a collision and approximately 15,000 people die on our roads every year. One out of seven South Africans living today has, or will be involved in a collision resulting in injury.

As the saying goes, ‘prevention really is better than cure’. In order to give us the time to prevent a collision we need to know and make use of the Standard Accident Prevention Formula which is:

Recognise the hazard: Think and look as far ahead as possible. Never assume everything will be all right and always expect the unexpected.

Understand the defense: There are certain methods of handling each traffic situation, know these and teach yourself to react positively when the need arises.

Act in time: Once you have seen the hazard and you have recognised the defence, never adopt a ‘wait and see’ attitude as you will be wasting valuable time and space.

For more advice have a look at these safety tips from Arrive Alive or contact Toyota Advanced Driving by phone (011 467 4040) or e-mail (info@tad-sa.co.za).


Thought run-flat tyres were only for premium cars? Think again thanks to Bridgestone

Bridgestone released the exciting news that run-flat tyres are now available for mass market cars. They did this by launching DriveGuard, a new range of run-flat tyres aimed at vehicles which are not supplied with run-flat tyres from the factory.

DriveGuard is built on the technology of Bridgestone’s existing run-flat tyres. If a DriveGuard tyre is punctured, a maximum speed of 80km/h can be maintained for a distance of up to 80km.


-The ability to keep driving after a puncture is extremely important for family cars – rather than changing a wheel at the roadside, a driver who has a puncture in an urban area can now get their family home in safety and then change the tyre.

- On longer journeys, drivers can keep going at reduced speed until they reach a safer location to change the tyre. This is a great benefit if the puncture occurs during a rainstorm or in heavy traffic where stopping at the roadside might be dangerous.

DriveGuard features a lighter-weight construction than previous run-flat tyres and includes new technologies which allow it to run cooler and be more durable. The Controlled Contact footprint distributes the tyre load more evenly to offer better wear characteristics, and the silica-based tread compound and an asymmetrical tread pattern give the tyre improved roadholding characteristics under both wet and dry conditions. Bridgestone says the tyre construction delivers a more comfortable ride when compared to conventional tyres.

“DriveGuard is a leap ahead in safety and convenience for the everyday driver. If a vehicle is fitted with DriveGuard, the driver need never again worry about the inconvenience and danger of a puncture,” said Hiroshi Nakanishi, General Manager, Field Engineering & Technical Services.

Volvo V40

5 safest cars in SA right now

As WOW has outlined – safety should be one of the top priorities when one is buying a car. Therefore, we thought it would be wise to report on 5 of the safest cars that’s available in South Africa right now.

Myth Busted:

People tend to think that the bigger and heavier cars are safer, but this is actually not the case. The results actually state something different, and thanks to cars.co.za, we now know what the five safest cars in South Africa are.

According to cars.co.za, the results were worked out by taking the highest average percentage score for each vehicle across adult occupant safety, child occupant safety, pedestrian safety and safety assist tests conducted by Euro NCAP.

5. Honda Civic

Honda Civic

4. Hyundai i30


3. Audi A3

Audi A3

2.  Renault Clio

Renault Clio

1. Volvo V40 – which is a WOW favourite!

Volvo V40 D2

driver test

How SA’s driver test compares to those of other countries

After the good citizens of the UK found it a bit unfair that people from other countries could drive on their roads without so much as a theoretical test, the people at RED (a driving school) took it upon themselves to rate the difficulty level of different countries’ driving tests, as UK drivers are concerned about the standard of foreign drivers.

The results were, as expected, that driver tests from different countries are very different. RED Driving School CEO Ian McIntosh, who graded each country’s test, said: “There are huge disparities in driving tests from country to country and it is shocking how standards vary.”

If you as a South African feel like a failure because you may have flunked your driving test the first time – don’t, as SA’s driving test is one of the most difficult and most impractical drivers tests when compared to those of other countries.

*The difficulty level refers to how hard it is to obtain your drivers licence and the rating out of five refers to the practicality of the drivers test.


Legal age: 14-21

Difficulty level: Moderate – Difficult

Rating: 3/5

Due to the political system in America, the driving laws vary from state to state. Some places, such as Kansas and Idaho, issue permits to teenagers as young as 14, while other states force you to wait until you’re 21 before you can drive. However, all learners must complete a six-month graduated licence programme before they’re allowed to drive on the roads accompanied by a person aged 21 or over. The laws can restrict certain privileges, too, like carrying passengers and a late-night curfew.


Legal age: 17

Difficulty level: Difficult

Rating: 4/5

You can apply for a provisional licence at the age of 16 but can’t start lessons until you turn 17. With a provisional licence you must display L-plates but can drive accompanied by a driver who’s aged 21 or older. You’re required to pass a theory test and this certificate lasts for two years during which time you have to take a practical test. Once this is passed you’re issued with a full driving licence. The pass rate is currently 47 per cent.


Legal age: 16

Difficulty level: Moderate

RED rating: 4/5

It’s possible to get behind the wheel at 16 in France, but you’ll need to register with a driving school and pass 20 hours of practical driving, before taking a theory test. Pass this, and you’re issued with a three-year certificate that lets you drive accompanied by an adult. The practical exam can only be taken after you turn 18 and once you’ve covered 3 000km driving accompanied. Learners are restricted to 110km/h on the highway, too.

 South Africa

Legal age: 18

Difficulty level: Difficult – Very difficult

Rating: 2/5

Some people may feel the UK test is too strict, but it’s even tougher in South Africa. You can’t start until you’re 18, and you then need to pass a yard test as well as a road test. On the road test you can lose points for not checking beneath the car for leaks and not using the handbrake every time you stop. You’ll automatically fail if you let the car roll back even an inch, too. The pass rate is just 39 per cent, and although the test is intentionally hard to improve safety. However, a lot of people bribe or buy their licences which puts a crank in the wheel when it comes to rating.


Legal age: 18

Difficulty level: Easy – Moderate

RED rating: 2/5

You’ll have to wait until you’re older to take the test in Pakistan, but the assessment itself is simple. It consists of a theory exam and a short practical test, both of which can be taken on the same day. There are no rules on the number of practice hours you have to have completed, and the practical test requires you to drive a short course through cones.This easy test has an 80 per cent first time pass rate, but also means Pakistan has a very high accident rate – there are 16 accident deaths per 100 000 people.


Legal age: 18

Difficulty level: Difficult – Very difficult

Rating: 4/5

One of the strictest and toughest places to get a driving licence is Japan, where pass rates fall below 35 per cent. It’s taken on a course, but resembles real road conditions. Drivers must remain at 30km/h or under at all times, and instantly fail if they drive over a kerb, fail to stop at a traffic light or junction or fail to check for oncoming traffic. Candidates can also fail for not staying far left enough in the lane or not bending down low enough when checking under the car for cats or children before setting off.


Legal age: 18

Difficulty level: Easy

Rating: 1/5

Mexico has a higher age limit than the UK, but gaining a licence here couldn’t be much easier. As long as you’re over the age of 18, you don’t even need to take a test. In fact, all you have to do is buy a licence for 626 pesos (About R300). Mexico City is one of the most densely populated cities in the world, with four million cars on the road. Combine this with the lack of a standardised test, and it’s little wonder that crashes are a regular occurrence.







Can you believe that people transport animals like this?

After the sad story of two giraffes getting seriously injured recently after they where transported on the back of a truck on a highway in Gauteng – you think you would have seen it all – but you really haven’t.

Have a look at these photos of animals being transported in the most ridiculous and unsafe of ways, and tell us what you think:



Are there any cab services for women?

Due to recent events, one of which being a friend of WOW attacked by a cab driver, attention has been drawn to the need for women-only public transport or at least female cab drivers.

The concept of accessible public transport is still not very widely practiced in South Africa, however, a lot of citizens (especially those that live in the highly-populated cities) make use of cabs to avoid drink-driving – which is of course the responsible decision to make. But now, it feels not even cabs are safe anymore. There are the reputable cab companies, but how do you know, if you are a female traveling alone, that the cab driver doesn’t have any hidden agendas?

The need for a female-only cab service is certainly catching on, but are there any? There is one such cab service in South Africa but it is only available in Johannesburg – Cabs for Women. This initiative was started in 2008, and is sponsored by 1st for Women insurance.

Robyn Farrell, managing director of 1st for Women Insurance Brokers, says that taxis driven by women, for women is not a passing fad but rather an effective solution for women travelling alone.

“International studies show that women prefer using cabs that are driven by females because they don’t feel like they are at the mercy of a male cab driver. Also, in cultures where women and men who are not related are not supposed to be alone together, having a female driver can increase a woman’s mobility,” says Farrell.

The safety concerns many women both here and abroad have about travelling alone in a cab are not unfounded. In London, statistics show that eight women are sexually attacked by unlicensed minicab drivers every month.

In South Africa, most women have reservations about catching a cab on their own. “You just never know if you’re going to end up with someone dubious,” says Jolene Chait, a Johannesburg resident who uses Cabs for Women regularly.

Farrell notes that this year, Cabs for Women increased their fleet to accommodate the demand.

“All Cabs for Women vehicles are fitted with GPS tracking and route planning devices so passengers know where they are and where they are going. What’s more, Cabs for Women’s 24-hour call centre has full visibility of the cabs at all times and every cab is equipped with a metre so that pricing is transparent and consistent. In a country where crime against women is unacceptably high, we hope that more women will make use of this service and enjoy the safety, ease and convenience of travelling by female-only cabs,” concludes Farrell.

For more information on Cabs for Women, have a look at their website.

As for cab services that provide female drivers: Reputable cab services such as Excite and Intercab do not have any female cab drivers, however you can request a female cab driver when using Rikkis cab service. A Cape Town based transport service, The Green Cab, is owned and operated by women. It may not operate like a usual cab service but for shuttles etc to and from the airport, give these ladies a call. Other services, such as the chauffeur driven options whereby you and your car are collected and driven home, also offer female drivers. You just need to ask.

Do you know of any female cab drivers? Please post their details below.