Tag Archives: safety


The tips you need for travelling with your dog

Travelling with your dog might not be the easiest of tasks, but we do it anyway as we love our canine friends so much! Travelling with your dog was probably can be a bit of an adventure for the first time, and it takes some getting used to (for you and the dog). Here are some things you need to know before taking your dog friend for a ride:

- First-time dog owners need to be aware that not all canines can handle road trips without prior practice – not even around the block a few times. Therefore, it’s recommended you first go for a few practice runs before you take them on a long road trip.

- It’s not recommend to seat the travel buddy in the front passenger because a potential airbag deployment is dangerous for your four-footed companion.

- Other areas in the car such as the floor of the seats or the boot are the best places to accommodate your pet, but don’t forget to stretch out a blanket over the area. It provides a bit of cushioning and helps with not letting the dog slide on the floor during acceleration, braking, cornering and other potentially unsafe situations.

- If you indeed need or want to travel with your furry friend on the seats, take a look at some of these dog car-seats.

- Dog’s might love to ride with their heads outside of the vehicle, but this is actually dangerous and road signs or other traffic participants that pass you too close for comfort might hurt your beloved pet.

- A big no-no is feeding your dog too much before setting off because motion sickness can kick in (especially if your pet is not used to car-rides).

- Another very important tip when travelling by car with your dog is to take breaks.

- Lastly, and possibly the most important, never leave your dog alone in the car. It’s inhumane to do so because cabin temperature can rise to double the temperature outside in under five minutes on hot days, even with the windows slightly open.



Arrive Alive safety tips that will save your life

Instead of pointing out tips for certain instances, Arrive Alive provides timeless tips to inform road users and ultimately make the road a much safer space.

There are three main aspects to dangerous roads – 85% driver error, 10% vehicle error and 5% environmental error. Johan Jonck explains:

Environmental error is the cause of about 5% of accidents that take place on the road. There is not much one can do but the following:

1. Stay Alert
2. Regulate Speed
3. Give yourself enough time
4. Avoid distractions
5. Plan
6. Avoid and adjust

Vehicle error counts for about 10% of dangerous happenings on the roads. In this case what you can do to prevent vehicle error is:

1. Vehicle maintenance
2. Always make sure the little things such as you tyres, your windscreen wipers ect are in good working condition. A lot can go wrong from a little fault in your car.
3. Always make sure your spare tyre is up to date- you never know when you will be needing it!!

The biggest aspect to dangerous roads is of course driver error. Johan explains that this mainly happens due to people that don’t follow simple road rules such as the speed limit or safe overtaking. To prevent human error, one can do the following:

1. Obey the simple rules of the road.
2. Make sure you are ‘’driver-fit’’.
3. Never, under any circumstances, drive when you are under the influence of alcohol, drugs or when you are extremely tired.

The main causes for head-on collisions are the following: illegal overtaking, fatigued drivers, distracted driving and drink driving. Johan gives advice and says the best way to protect yourself on the road is to ‘’drive defensively’’. He says, ‘’Always make sure that you do everything in your power to ensure your own safety and the safety of your passenger and fellow road users. Give yourself enough time and enough space.’’

young smiling woman sitting in car taking key

Do you know what happens when a rental car gets stolen?

What happens when a rental car gets stolen? This is the question Sanera Maharaj of Durban had to ask herself after bad luck had hit her the second time after her rental car (a VW Polo Vivo) was stolen. For Maharaj the answer was obvious, or so she thought.

Maharaj’s bad luck began a week earlier when she crashed her car. Her insurance policy included car hire in an event like this, and she was directed to First Car, where she was told her liability in the event of damage to or theft of the car would be R3 000.

So, after the VW Polo was stolen she returned to the car rental company with the keys and was invoiced for R3 000, a sum she had expected to pay. However, what she didn’t expect is that a week later she had gotten an invoice of R121 000 – the full value of the car.

“I was told that I was negligent in that I didn’t return the car keys,” she told Consumer Watch.

Maharaj, who is a part-time student, said she had not been warned that if she parked the rental car overnight in a residential street she would be liable in full for the loss if it was stolen.

Responding, First Car Rental’s head of marketing, Melissa Storey, said “the absence of” the car keys always raised suspicion when a rental car was reported stolen by the renter, but in Maharaj’s case “it seems that it was a miscommunication due to too many parties being involved” and the key was eventually found.

However, even though Maharaj had returned the keys, the company had concluded that she had been negligent in parking the car where she did.

“Our terms state that we require the renter to safely secure our vehicle, and that the theft loss waiver does not cover driver negligence,” Storey said.

It is important to note that car rental companies’ vehicles are not insured. The companies “self insure”, with their customers being made to pay “theft/loss waivers”, not to be confused with an insurance excess.

There are the ”obvious” things you can’t do while driving a rental, which will end up with you paying, such as drink-driving. However, here are also some ”not-so-obvious” things which cancel the waiver (things the renter is not aware of, but should be): driving on “unsuitable” roads; driving through a “dust storm”, water or pothole damage, all undercarriage damage and failing to report damage or loss within a stipulated time.

The moral of the story is to always be sure to read the fine print and make absolutely sure what the ”terms and conditions” of certain car rental companies are.

(Source: IOL Motoring)

women's hand presses on the remote control car alarm

Car jamming a trend in Cape Town, especially Durbanville!

We have advised our readers on car-lock jamming before, but now it’s becoming apparent that this is a trend in Cape Town – or more specifically – the Durbanville (Northern Suburbs) area.

At the monthly meeting of the Durbanville Community Police Forum (DCPF) last week Col Marius Swanepoel of the Durbanville police said there has been a few of these incidents reported in the business centre in the last three weeks.

Jamming is done with a remote control often very similar to the ones used to open entrance gates or garage doors. During these incidents, valuable items such as cell phones, cameras, handbags etc were stolen out of the vehicles.

The police officer said that the criminal will wait around in another car to wait for their victims. Rather take all valuables out of your car when you have parked. You should also check that your car is locked before you walk away as the jamming device works as you are locking your car.  The infrared signal interferes with that of your car’s remote control if you are locking your car at the same time – leaving your car unlocked.

Learn more about car-remote jamming here.





Road safety

The truth about road safety in South Africa

As the Arrive Alive online initiative is celebrating 11 years of its existence, we decided to pick the brain of Johan Jonck, the leader of this amazing safety initiative helping South Africans all over the country to stay safe on the road on a daily account.

What are the road safety stats?

The ”true” stats aren’t easily accessible, meaning the stats we think we have are quite misleading. This makes it very difficult for people to get an idea around road safety, such as the exact number of road deaths last year etc.

Are there any particular hotspots for hijackings, especially in the Western Cape, that Arrive Alive concentrates on?

Arrive Alive concentrates on the overall, meaning I try to provide timeless information on road safety. At any given point there are hotspots for some sort of crime pertaining to road safety and it differs in all provinces, for me it’s hard to give hotspots for the Western Cape as well.

What projects/goals are the most important to you?

I especially want to make people aware of small things that play a big role in safety awareness on the road such as the #BuckeUpBackSeat campaign. It’s not just the front passengers that need to buckle up, but actually also the backseat passengers and that is a road rule by law.

How do you think road safety can change and what needs to change for road safety to improve?

The problem is that everyone is doing the same things. People should approach road safety in a different way – not just the obvious precautions but take other precautions as well. For instance we are saying don’t take any calls while driving, but we must also stress the fact that you should not be calling someone if that person is driving. Rather say, ‘’I know you are driving, you should not have answered your phone, talk later.’’
There are five important rules regarding road safety, also known as the five e’s: Education, enforcement, engineering, encouragement and evaluation. All of these rules need to be implemented for road safety to change. I can only implement two of those rules; the rest is up to the road users and the government.

In your opinion, should the speed limit be lowered?
I would rather put it this way: we need to give more attention to the right speed limits in the right areas. Speed limits aren’t the real problem, the real issue is certain areas where speed limits are implemented incorrectly, or not obeyed – such as the highly dangerous roads. There should also be more attention given to moving objects than the speed limit. Overall the governing is enough, however the implementation is what is lacking.

Why would you say you are involved with Arrive Alive?

For me, road safety is a passion and I do it for the satisfaction of keeping people safe on the road. During the past year we experienced the drive and passion of those committed to saving lives and preventing injuries on our roads. There is a clear understanding in the traffic environment that the road carnage cannot continue and that more needs to be done to ensure the safety of all road users. If I can do everything to prevent bad things from happening on the road I would, but unfortunately that is not in my power and I can only provide online awareness.


The U-Turn: The most dangerous driving manoeuvre?

Arrive Alive reported that the U-Turn remains one of the most dangerous driver manoeuvres on roads worldwide. Paramedics respond daily to severe trauma from crashes that could have been prevented had it not been for the hasty decision to make a U-turn in traffic. But, why is the U-turn such a dangerous driving manoeuvre?

People often do not foresee the consequences that the U-Turn can have, which is often enough fatal as it is an unexpected driving stunt that usually does not allow time for the faster moving vehicle to change course and avoid an accident.

The U-turn is especially a risky move because the driver needs to cross lanes of traffic to complete the turn and it requires a street wide enough. It is also not always that easy to assume the speed of the oncoming traffic (that is if you can see them).

U-Turns are actually not legal in most locations and the first thing before you are about to make a U-Turn, you should ask yourself – Is it legal at this location? Just because there is no sign indicating that a U-turn is illegal, does not mean that it’s permitted. Arrive Alive states that U-Turns are not permitted at these areas:

-On a curve where approaching traffic from either direction cannot be seen for a distance of at least 150 metres.

-Within 30 metres of a railway crossing.

-Within 150 metres of a bridge, viaduct or tunnel where the view of traffic is limited.

-At undivided highways. A U-Turn is not legal on a controlled access highway except through an opening provided for that purpose in the dividing curb section, separation or line.

-U-turns are prohibited in no-passing zones and one way streets.

-In front of a fire station.

-At an intersection where there is a traffic light.

So, think again before you make that quick U-Turn next time, it might be the last turn you and your fellow road-user makes!