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A South African driverís New Yearís resolutions

January 2016

The New Year tends to signify a new start for many of us. How can you as a South African driver use a fresh attitude and new mind-set to improve your driving or become a better driver? These New Yearís resolutions for the South African driver are easily attainable and could be a great way for you to usher-in 2016 with a positive attitude Ė and happy driving environment Ė on the road.

1.       Treat fellow drivers with courtesy and respect
It all starts with you, treat other road users as you would treat a family member or colleague. Imagine if every South African motorist promised to do the same!

2.      Donít Speed
Speeding is not only illegal, itís dangerous.
Speed limits are applied according to the type of road as well as local environmental factors. These limits are put in place to keep you and others safe.Speeding rarely gets you to your destination any sooner. Is the fine worth the two minutes saved, or the risk of an accident?

In the process, youíll have wasted fuel and put unnecessary wear and tear on your car Ė the engine, gearbox, tyres and brakes. Youíll have also endangered your life and those of the people around you. Speeding simply isnít worth it for any given reason.

 3.      Donít drink and drive

Drinking and then driving is not only extremely dangerous, but if you are caught driving over the legal limit you will be arrested.

4.      Stay off your phone

It is not only illegal to make a call or text while driving, it is illegal to even hold your phone. Your hands should be on the wheel and your eyes on the road.

Using your phone while driving is dangerous. The concentration you need to place a call, reply to a message or send a Tweet takes your focus off the road, and itís in that split second   Ė when you think you can successfully multi-task Ė that something could go awfully wrong. A Bluetooth or similar hands-free set is a must-have if you need to have a cellphone conversation while behind the wheel, but even the act of speaking Ė and concentrating on what the other person is saying, will take your attention off the road. Rather turn your car into a Ďno phone zoneí and use the time for some peace and quiet.

5.      Control your road rage

Learn how to control your road rage, the consequences are just not worth it. Read our guide to dealing effectively with road rage. In short:

  • Sleep
  • Reduce stress by planning
  • Slow down 
  • Listen to relaxing music
  • Take a break, breathe
  • Be a compassionate driver
  • Donít shout, they canít hear you
  • Be courteous, itís a two-way street
  • Avoid confrontation

6.      Buckle up - and make sure passengers and children do the same

Put on your seatbelt every time you get behind the wheel, even if it is just for a short trip. Make sure that your passengers do the same, in fact donít move the car until they do. Remember, infants up to the age of three should be restrained in a proper child seat, and children up to the age of 14 or up to 1.5 metres tall should be restrained in a suitable car seat, if possible or with seatbelts at the very least. Read our blog on questions you should ask before you buy a car seat  for children.

7.       Take care of your car
Your car costs you a lot of money and it works hard to keep you safe every day. Keeping your car in good condition will pay off, some basics include:

-          Donít miss that annual service, the manufacturer has a preventative maintenance schedule for a good reason and doing so may impact your vehicles warranty.

-          Rotate your tyres to give them a longer life.

-          Check your tyre pressures. Correctly inflated tyres will save you fuel and make stopping easier and safer.

-           Wash your car yourself every now and then, the process of cleaning your car inside and out forces you to look at every part of your car, helping you see any damage before it gets too bad.

8.       Sign up for roadside assistance
Roadside assistance is a must-have if you want to stay safe on South African roads. Join the AA today for motoring peace of mind in 2016.

Print this list out and keep it to remind you that your contribution is the first step in making our roads a safer and happier place.

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