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Are Your Driving Habits Making You a Risk on the Roads?

Safety - 18 April 2019

Cars in city road traffic.The greatest cause of fatal accidents on South Africa’s roads – by a significant and alarming gap – is human error. Research undertaken by the Road Traffic Management Corporation and the Parliamentary Monitoring Group state that mistakes and misjudgements made by drivers account for approximately 80% of all fatal crashes. This means that an overwhelming majority of incidents could be prevented, and many lives could be spared, if drivers avoided certain dangerous habits.

But what are these high-risk habits? While some are obvious, others are less so, and even if you consider yourself a responsible driver, you’ve possibly been guilty of more than one of the behaviours listed below.

7 Poor Driving Habits to Avoid

To keep yourself, your passengers and other road users safe, avoid:

1. Driving while distracted

If you text, talk on the phone, set your GPS, eat or drink, apply makeup, change or adjust your clothing, or fumble for something while you drive, you’re not properly focused on the road. Distracted driving is one of the most common causes of accidents, with mobile phones alone accounting for 25% of the crashes that occur in South Africa. If whatever is taking your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel, or your attention elsewhere can’t wait, rather pull over.

2. Speeding

The faster you go, the greater the risk of losing control of your vehicle and being unable to stop. The average driver, assuming the road is dry and they react quickly, will need 90m to bring a car travelling at 110km/h to a complete stop. That’s quite a distance, and relies on the best possible variables. If your reaction time is impaired (if you’re distracted or drunk, for example), and if the road is wet, the dangers of speeding are greatly increased.

3. Driving drunk

Driving under the influence of alcohol can severely limit your concentration, coordination, judgement, reaction time, and vision. Slow reflexes cause slow reaction time to slam on the brakes if a hazard appears in the road. Impaired vision and perspective cause you to incorrectly judge distances of objects like yellow traffic lights and other road users.

Driving while drunk is against the law. In South Africa, you may not drive if your blood alcohol content is over 0.05%, which could amount to one 350ml beer or a single shot.

4. Neglecting your tyres

Your tyres are critical to your safety on the road. They are responsible not only for getting you where you want to go, but also for bringing you to a stop – sometimes very suddenly. To perform these vital tasks, they have to be in excellent condition, which means that they must have the right pressure, enough tread, and no signs of bubbles, cracked sidewalls or unusual abrasions. They also need to be regularly balanced, aligned and rotated by a professional.

5. Failing to consider other drivers

Are you properly aware of the road users around you when you drive? Do you always use your indicators when you change lanes? Do you glance in your rear view mirror before you brake? Do you drive with your bright lights on, blinding oncoming traffic? These simple rules and common courtesies can have far-reaching impacts on road safety.

6. Feeling fatigued

Just a moment of accidentally closing your eyes while driving can cause an accident. If you’re feeling even remotely tired, pull over at the nearest safe location and either let your body rest for a while, or energise yourself by getting out of the car and stretching. On long road trips, you should stop and get out of your car every two hours to ensure you stay alert.

7. Giving in to anger

If you’re prone to road rage, lack patience, and often express your frustration or anger on the road by gesticulating or tailgating, you could be a danger to yourself and others. Be aware of how you feel when you drive and keep your aggressive responses in check.

Bad habits can be difficult to break, especially if they have simply been part of your driving behaviour for a long time. But if any of these bad habits sound familiar, it’s important that you make a concerted effort to address them. Minor bumper bashings are usually only an inconvenience and a bit of an expense, but more serious accidents can result in you being fined, facing criminal charges, losing your licence or, worst of all, being responsible for fatalities.

While driving style is up to you, keeping you car safe on the road is our businesses.

Not only do we inspect, replace, balance, align, and rotate your tyres, but also offer a free vehicle safety check. Simply contact your closest Supa Quick fitment centre today to address this positive road safety habit properly and professionally.

Disclaimer:This information is for educational, or entertainment purposes only. The views expressed here are not that of Supa Quick. We do not make any warranties about the completeness, reliability, and accuracy of this information. Any action you take upon the information on this site is at your own risk. We will not be liable for any losses and damages in connection with the content on this site.

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