LONG DIS­TANCE ROAD SAFETY

Nam Wheels - - FRONT PAGE -

Charl Grob­ler, man­ager of mar­ket­ing and prod­uct plan­ning at Suzuki South Africa, shared some tips, tricks and hacks to keep you safe on the road. Best of all, they’re sim­ple to ex­e­cute.

SIDE MIR­RORS

“Ad­just­ing your mir­rors cor­rectly is a cru­cial first step,” says Charl. Modern car mir­rors are con­vex and give a big­ger field of vi­sion than pre­vi­ously, so if they’re ad­justed cor­rectly you shouldn’t have a blind spot. A per­fectly ad­justed side mir­ror has the back door han­dle in its bot­tom corner.

FOL­LOW­ING DIS­TANCE

Most peo­ple know to keep a healthy fol­low­ing dis­tance, but few re­alise, as Charl says, “your stop­ping dis­tance in­creases ex­po­nen­tially with speed and weight.” The heav­ier your car, and the faster it’s go­ing, the more dis­tance you need to leave be­tween you and the car in front of you - and not a lit­tle bit more.

USE THOSE BRAKES

With ABS brakes in­stalled in pretty much all cars on the road, don’t be afraid to slam down if you need to. The jud­der­ing, shud­der­ing noise and move­ment of the car when the brakes are fully en­gaged ac­tu­ally means the ABS sys­tem is work­ing. The ad­van­tage of ABS brakes is with the brak­ing and re­leas­ing mech­a­nism that causes the jud­der­ing feel, you can ac­tu­ally swerve around a dan­ger with­out fear of skid­ding or your wheels lock­ing.

KEEP YOUR LIGHTS ON

“More and more cars come with day­time run­ning lights, be­cause it makes your car more vis­i­ble on the road,” says Charl, “Dark-coloured and grey cars are hard to see on the road be­cause they are the same colour as the tar. ”

BE VIGILANT

Says Charl, “Any­thing un­pre­dictable on the roads is a risk.” Drunk pedes­tri­ans, driv­ing near a school, over­loaded ve­hi­cles and an­i­mals are all el­e­ments that need an ex­tra level of alert­ness. “Ac­tively judge what level of risk each of th­ese could pose and ad­just your driv­ing ac­cord­ingly,” he adds.

MIND THE TRUCKS

It’s not the driv­ers that pose a risk, but the na­ture of the trucks them­selves. A heavy ve­hi­cle has more mo­men­tum, a longer stop­ping dis­tance and less chance of re­act­ing to dan­ger than a smaller one. There’s even a chance their brakes could fail. “Be ready to over­take them if you need to” says Charl.

CHECK TYRE PRES­SURES

This is ab­so­lutely cru­cial and the eas­i­est thing in the world to check, says Charl. Check your tyre pres­sure against the rec­om­mended num­bers lo­cated in the driver’s door, on the B-pil­lar, and it’s best to keep a tyre pres­sure gauge handy that you know is ac­cu­rate.

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