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5 Safety Tips for New & Experienced Drivers on South African Roads

Driving responsibly and following basic K53 guidelines is the best way to ensure your safety on the roads.

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New and experienced drivers feel the rush of independence when on the road. And while South Africa is known for its beautiful open roads, one must still be careful when travelling from A to B to avoid collisions, some of which can be fatal.

Here are 5 fantastic safety tips to keep yourself from endangering the lives of yourself and others, brought to you by the experts from K53 learners test team.

Tip #1: Speeding is Dangerous

Whether you’re late or simply enjoy the rush of speed, driving above the speed limit can be incredibly dangerous. Rather text whomever you are meeting before you leave instead of risking your safety and the people around you.

Speeding is linked to approximately 30% of all fatal vehicle accidents in South Africa. Therefore, drivers must stick to the posted speed limits. General speed limits in South Africa are 60 km/h in urban areas, 80 or 100 km/h on public roads, and 120 km/h on the highway.

The reasons why speeding is dangerous include:

  • The faster you drive, the more difficult it becomes to dodge obstacles or people that cross your path.
  • Your airbags or safety belts are not as effective at high speeds.
  • It’s more challenging to avoid a car accident if travelling at high speeds.
  • Driving fast can damage your tyres and brakes, potentially causing them to fail during operation.
  • It’s much more challenging to drive at high speeds, and visual field and peripheral vision are restricted.

Tip #2: Never Drink & Drive

With over 65% of South African deaths caused by alcohol and drunk driving being a big part of that statistic, getting behind the wheel with alcohol in your system can be fatal. Not only is it illegal to drive with a blood-alcohol level of more than 0.5g (which is the equivalent of one beer or shot), but drunken drivers cause 50% of all road accidents.

Tip #3: Maintain Your Vehicle

Keeping your car in check is an important part of road safety. Driving with a damaged vehicle can cause you to lose control of operating your vehicle. Therefore, it’s important not to ignore any unusual sounds your car makes.

Furthermore, always keep up-to-date with your car’s services. Regular checks by a mechanic can make all the difference. And finally, if you’re at the petrol station, it’s worth always checking your oil and water.

Tip #4: Always Buckle Up

Buckling up during a collision protects you inside your vehicle and helps to keep you safe and secure, as being completely ejected from a vehicle is nearly always fatal. You may be launched into a swiftly opening frontal airbag if you don’t wear your seat belt, and such force might cause damage or even death.

Furthermore, not only are you breaking the law, but you’re putting your children in danger if you don’t strap them in. A kid can travel about 30 times their weight without the appropriate safety gear if unrestrained in a collision.

Tip #5: Never Use Your Phone While Driving

Drivers who use a cell phone are more likely to weave in and out of their lane on curves, and they’re slower to react during emergency situations.

Many drivers believe that they may have the skills to multitask by talking and texting on their cellphones while driving, but this is simply not possible. Drivers cease monitoring their surroundings when on their phones.

If you’re tempted to use your phone, rather leave it in your boot when travelling. No text or call is more important than your safety.

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