Responsible driving goes a long way to extending the life of vehicles and parts. This can only be achieved if drivers and fleet owners focus on improving their behaviour on the road.

“Harsh breaking, rapid accelerating and so on all contribute to the wear and tear on essential parts of your vehicle,” said Dewald Ranft, Chairman, Motor Industry Workshop Association (MIWA).

“It’s time we brought order back to our roads and this needs to start with each one of us looking into how we can improve our behaviour while driving.”

Ranft noted that South Africa had an exceptionally high mortality rate on its roads. He said one of the contributing factors was drivers not sticking to speed limits and not keeping a good following distance.

By speeding and driving too close to other vehicles we greatly increase the chances of an accident. Speed limits and following distances have been worked out based on human response times, breaking systems in vehicles and other factors. Let’s respect the science more.”

He added that just because other drivers may be speeding, doesn’t mean you have to. “The far-right lane is the fast lane. Stay out of this lane if you are feeling pressured by other drivers to break the speed limit. The same applies to the yellow emergency lane.

“This lane is intended for emergency vehicles, vehicles that have broken down or an escape route for vehicles to use to avoid an accident. You should not be in this lane otherwise, irrespective of what others are doing.”

Lastly, Ranft stressed the importance of driving roadworthy vehicles, saying drivers should never put their lives at risk by getting behind the wheel of a vehicle they know has not been inspected.

“Periodic roadworthy testing is not compulsory in South Africa. However, driving a car that is not roadworthy is not only risky on the roads, it’s also risky when it comes to your finances. Most car insurance claims will not be paid out if it is found that the vehicle involved in the accident was not in a roadworthy condition.”

He said the onus is on the vehicle owner to ensure all vehicles are regularly serviced and maintained by qualified mechanics and technicians – preferably from accredited MIWA workshops.



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