20 November 2021

The Safe Vehicle: Pre-holiday and Christmas Period Safety Checks

Submitted by Lawrence Barit
The Safe Vehicle: Pre-holiday and Christmas Period Safety Checks

The Safe Vehicle.

Pre-Holiday and Christmas Period – Safety Checks.

One of the leading causes of crashes on South Africa’s roads has been identified as vehicle faults. Commonly referred to as defective parts of a vehicle, such can cause a collision. Examples include a tyre burst, the inability to brake effectively, and the vehicle drifting on the road. When any of these occur, the driver could lose control of the vehicle resulting in a crash.

Many crashes on the road are due to bad driving decisions, e.g. driving drunk, driving whilst fatigued and texting whilst driving. However mechanical failure in many instances is due to a bad prior decision. The bad decision is the failure of the driver and / or the owner of the vehicle to allow the professionals to do essential safety checks.

With this being a top priority, Supa Quick hosted a road safety event at the Menlyn Supa Quick branch. This event built around what in the United States has been cited, by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) the authority responsible for keeping safety on America’s roadways, as the top mechanical failures that cause crashes.

Tyres: Top of the list are tyres. Identified in this category are badly worn tyres, damaged tyres and tyres with little or no tread resulting in the vehicle aquaplaning in wet weather. Worn tyres are highly susceptible to punctures and impact damage, which could result in a blowout causing the loss of control of the vehicle and consequently a collision.

Brakes: The second major factor is bad brakes. This results in the inability to stop which plays a big part in rear end collisions. The NHTSA believes that brake failure is the cause of over 20 percent of car crashes attributed to vehicle faults. In this category the most important factor is worn brakes. Brake pads which are badly worn  result in longer stopping distance and hence an increase in rear end collisions.

Shocks: The shock absorber, which is the unseen part of any vehicle, plays a most vital role. It results in smoothing out of bumps and vibrations.  Its importance is that it ensures that all the vehicle’s tyres remain in contact with the road surface at all times. This results in safer control and better braking ability. In turn, effective response from the vehicle in emergency situations.

Wipers: The wiper blade of a motor vehicle is of vital importance in avoiding a crash, especially when it comes to wet weather conditions. Rainy weather, hard or light, greatly reduces visibility. Worn out wiper blades are less effective at clearing rain and debris, leaving streaks that continue to obstruct vision. Check windshield wipers, on a regular basis and if there is any indication that they are not clearing the windshield effectively, such means that the blades have been damaged and need replacing as soon as possible.

These aspects can be attended to and corrective action can be taken when an essential inspection is done on a regular basis and always before leaving on a long trip. The manager of the hosts, Supa Quick Menlyn, Mr Jaco Oosthuizen stated that:

In order to obtain the best advice, take your vehicle to the nearest fitment centre for a safety check. Should any faults be found, such can be attended to. This will ensure safe driving, no matter what the distance you shall be travelling.

This is the ongoing maintenance that keeps any vehicle in a roadworthy condition.

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