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.