See to cla­ri­ty on ro­ad trip, ho­li­day or re­turn

George Herald - Auto Dealer - - News -

Be­fo­re set­ting off to a ho­li­day des­ti­na­ti­on or on the jour­ney ho­me, one needs to en­su­re the best pos­si­ble d­ri­ving vi­si­bi­li­ty all con­di­ti­ons. The­re are va­ri­ous fac­tors that may af­fect this. Eu­ge­ne Her­bert, the ma­na­ging di­rec­tor of Gau­teng-ba­sed Mas­terdri­ve, has a few tips for our re­a­ders.


The he­ad­lig­hts not on­ly help you to see but en­su­re that ot­hers see you. Be­fo­re le­a­ving, ask so­meo­ne to help you check that all ve­hi­cle lig­hts are wor­king pro­per­ly.

“E­ven if the lig­hts are s­lig­ht­ly dul­ler than u­su­al, re­pla­ce them. En­su­re you re­pla­ce both he­ad­lig­hts at the sa­me ti­me so they are the sa­me brig­ht­ness. If you ha­ve an ol­der car and the len­ses ha­ve star­ted to go y­el­low, you should al­so get the­se re­pla­ced, pre­fe­ra­bly by a pro­fes­si­o­nal. Las­t­ly, en­su­re the len­ses are c­le­an be­fo­re le­a­ving,” Her­bert says. Tra­vel with he­ad­lig­hts on all the ti­me.


The windscreen must be f­ree of cracks and chips. “Chips and cracks can dis­tort lig­ht that shi­nes through, af­fecting per­cep­ti­on. Small chips can ma­ke the lig­ht shi­ne in a ha­lo ef­fect whi­le groo­ves can ma­ke it seem li­ke a strip of lig­ht has two tails. The ef­fect on vi­si­on is mo­re pro­noun­ced at nig­ht­ti­me.” Ot­her ef­fects in­clu­de ta­king lon­ger to a­dapt w­hen a lig­ht dazz­les you or dif­fi­cul­ty de­tecting and jud­ging dis­tan­ces to ob­jects.

Part of windscreen main­te­nan­ce in­clu­des in­specting the windscreen wipers. “Check that they are in good wor­king con­di­ti­on and are not worn or dis­co­lou­red. Usa­ge and sun­lig­ht both cau­se we­ar on wipers. If they are not worn, al­so en­su­re they are not dir­ty. Dirt can cor­ro­de the rub­ber and le­a­ve dir­ty st­re­aks. If you need to re­pla­ce, a­void choo­sing che­a­per, low-qua­li­ty op­ti­ons.”


Ap­prox­i­ma­te­ly 90% of the sti­mu­lus u­sed to dri­ve sa­fely is col­lected through vi­si­on. Vi­su­al a­cui­ty and depth per­cep­ti­on af­fect d­ri­ving. “Vi­su­al a­cui­ty af­fects the a­bi­li­ty to jud­ge spa­ce and dis­tan­ce be­t­ween ob­jects," says Her­bert "It is u­sed w­hen mo­ving in­to a­not­her la­ne or to cle­ar­ly see ro­ad signs, a­ni­mals, pe­de­stri­ans and cy­clis­ts. Pe­rip­her­al vi­si­on is af­fected by vi­su­al a­cui­ty. This is your to­tal field of per­cep­ti­on which you see wit­hout mo­ving your he­ad or ey­es. W­hen mo­ving at 100km per hour, your vi­su­al field is on­ly 40°. To see out­si­de of your pe­rip­her­al ran­ge you need sti­mu­la­ti­on li­ke an in­di­ca­tor lig­ht.”

Depth per­cep­ti­on is u­sed to de­ter­mi­ne the length, width and heig­ht of an ob­ject. This is w­hat you use to ma­noeu­vre a­round cars wit­hout bum­ping them, de­ter­mi­ne the speed of ob­jects and w­hen cros­sing ro­ads, chan­ging la­nes or o­ver­ta­king.

“If you ha­ve not re­cent­ly had your ey­es tes­ted or ha­ve con­cerns that your vi­si­on may not not be up to scra­tch, get them tes­ted be­fo­re set­ting off on a long jour­ney,” ad­vi­ses Her­bert.

Ot­her ef­fects in­clu­de ta­king lon­ger to a­dapt w­hen a lig­ht dazz­les you or dif­fi­cul­ty de­tecting and jud­ging dis­tan­ces to ob­jects.

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