Trip Notes

Road Trip - - CONTENTS - Ferd i ferdi@road­trip­

Let­ter from the Ed­i­tor

The re­sults of the first in­de­pen­dent ve­hi­cle crash test as­sess­ment in South Africa – con­ducted un­der the aus­pices of Global NCAP and the Au­to­mo­bile As­so­ci­a­tion of South Africa (AASA) – high­lighted our coun­try’s no­to­ri­ously shock­ing road safety fig­ures.

More than 14,000 road users die in car crashes on our roads ev­ery year, lead­ing to over 830,000 claims an­nu­ally against the Road Ac­ci­dent Fund (RAF). Death and injuries caused by road ac­ci­dents cost the coun­try R142 bil­lion per an­num – 3,5 per­cent of the coun­try’s GDP.

While ef­for ts to im­prove ve­hi­cle safety stan­dards are laud­able, the fact is that nearly half of the vehicles cur­rently on our roads – if the num­ber and age of used vehicles reg­is­tered are taken into ac­count – do not com­ply with the min­i­mum safety stan­dards as set by Global NCAP.

This prob­lem is ex­ac­er­bated by un­road­wor­thy vehicles and a huge num­ber of road users with fake or in­valid driv­ers’ li­cences; not to men­tion a gen­eral lack of road safety aware­ness and dearth of proper polic­ing on our roads. there is no short-term so­lu­tion for this, so it is up to road users them­selves to en­sure their safe ar­rival at their cho­sen des­ti­na­tions.

So, be smart this fes­tive sea­son and turn to the Va­ca­tion Ready ar­ti­cle to read our De­cem­ber road trip safety sug­ges­tions. Here, we’ll re­mind you to make sure your ve­hi­cle’s tyres (in­clud­ing the spare), brakes, wipers, oil, and shocks are checked be­fore your an­nual hol­i­day road trip. Also, be vig­i­lant and aware on the road, look out for other road users, and choose to make it a leisurely trip in­stead of a road race. If tired, rather stop and en­joy some sight­see­ing. And above all, be cour­te­ous and pa­tient.the sta­tis­tics are bad enough as they are. We do not need more vic­tims.

Speak­ing of sight­see­ing, for this month’s edi­tion, we visit the spec­tac­u­lar wa­ter­falls of Mpumalanga to un­cover the secrets of the new Range Rover Velar, take in the splen­dour of the wadis of Dubai while tam­ing some real Ital­ian horses un­der the hood of the Maserati Le­vante S, and ex­pe­ri­ence a hid­den gem along the West Coast by tak­ing a Land­wind to sea.

Driving a Subaru XV, we also bring you the sights sur­round­ing the Cra­dle of Hu­mankind, in­clud­ing Fo­rum Ho­mini and Madikwe Hills, and con­trib­u­tor Nicky Fur­niss re­lates her find­ings while on a trip to the Kwazulu-natal North Coast in the lat­est, up­dated Kia Sportage, while fi­nally, Mar­nus Hat­tingh will en­ter­tain you with his Vespa ex­pe­ri­ence in Si­cily.

And, if you are still look­ing for some hol­i­day ad­ven­tures and ac­tiv­i­ties, Brian Berk­man will clue you in on things to do around Sea Point in Cape Town, while our man­ag­ing ed­i­tor, Kayla Cloete, tells more about the best coastal camp­sites in the coun­try.

And last, but cer­tainly not least, we ex­ten­sively eval­u­ate seven new dou­ble-cabs in all types of on-road and off-road con­di­tions to find the ul­ti­mate road trip bakkie.

Again, be cour­te­ous and pa­tient.

Safe trav­els.

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