Brian Joss – As the country celebrates Women’s Month, MasterDrive would like to celebrate the female drivers on our roads. While we would rather avoid the debate about who is the better driver, what is for sure is that the number of female drivers on our roads is growing every day. As such, these are MasterDrive’s tips on how to stay safe on the roads.
While there are many people who can perform maintenance on your car for you, every driver should always know how to do it themselves as well. The managing director of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert, says that you never want a lack of knowledge to leave you in a dangerous position. “If you have a flat tyre while driving home late at night, depending on the circumstances, it might be faster and therefore safer to change your tyre yourself than wait for roadside assistance.
“In other instances where you have a puncture, in a dangerous area, it may even be preferable – if help is not at hand immediately – to drive to the nearest safe place where you can solve the challenge. Even if the tyre and rim is damaged, one’s safety should come first. If you ever find yourself in this situation, let someone know where you are and what your plan is.”
These are the maintenance checks every driver should know how to perform:
- How to change a tyre.
- How to check tyre pressure and expiry dates.
- How to check water or anti-freeze levels.
- How to check your oil.
- How to check other fluid levels such as the water for your windscreen wipers or your brake fluid.
- Know when your next service is due.
- How to jump start or restart a car where the battery has gone flat.
- How to replace fuses.
While we know modern cars can be quite complex and leave little for the driver to do, some of the older vehicles will allow drivers to easily accommodate the recommendations. Even if you own a modern car, knowing these techniques are always important.
Another challenge that motorists have to be aware of is the risk of being hijacked. “One of your strongest tools against becoming a victim of hijacking, is awareness. Always know what cars are around especially if one stays behind you for an extended time. Avoid turning into your driveway if there is a car behind you. Wait parallel to your gate and be aware of your surroundings while waiting for it to open, if anyone looks suspicious rather drive off to a safe place.
“There is also the reality that it is not always possible to avoid being hijacked. To prepare yourself for this, whether as a passenger or driver, invest in a reputable hijack management course. There is no greater investment, than an investment into your own safety,” says Herbert.
Lastly, protect yourself, not just as a woman on the roads but as a motorist committed to road safety. “Every driver is guilty of indulging in irresponsible behaviour on the roads, whether this be quickly checking your phone, speeding up to make it through the amber phase of the robot or driving on autopilot. Make a conscious effort to refrain from dangerous behaviours to make the roads a safer place for everyone.”
Herbert concludes: “As we continue to celebrate the strong women in our lives, let’s commit to transferring this strength and confidence to our roads.”
CAPTION: Stuck on the side of the road: learn how to replace fuses. Picture: Picjumbo/Motorpress