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1-October-2016

83 Know the basic rules of the road Drivers face a huge responsibility when they’re behind the wheel. Sticking to a few basics will ensure safe travel for everyone, as Toyota Advanced Driving’s VON KRAUSE advises. Whenever road accident statistics are released, there’s always an increase in accidents and associated fatalities. Motorists may rightly ask, “What are the authorities doing about it?” With total vehicle sales numbers in South Africa at about 45 000 units per month, and only a low number being taken off the road, it is obvious that more cars add to higher traffic volumes, more miles travelled on the roads, and ever-increasing congestion and frustration. The large number of cars also mean an increase in the number of inexperienced and unqualified drivers, many without formal training and a driver’s licence. all have superior driving skills – rather simply get the basics or driving correct. While we accept that there is a growing disregard for road rules, we need to become more vigilant behind the wheel, especially when approaching an intersection. The most basic road rules dictate that you do not run red lights or cross a traffic light while orange. More importantly, even if the light has just turned green for you, the onus is on you to ensure that cross-traffic has come to a complete stop and that you have a clear run before even entering the intersection. At Toyota Advanced Driving (TAD), we are big supporters of having roundabouts for traffic calming and easy flow instead of straightforward crossroads with traffic lights. A circular intersection reduces the angle of collision, should there be any, avoiding head-on collisions and sideswipes. At a circle, traffic from your right always has right of way. Always signal your intent to other drivers when entering, going around and exiting a circle. > Driving under the influence of alcohol, speeding, and the use of mobile devices while driving are all significant contributors to our unacceptably high accident rate and fatality numbers. However, the majority of accidents are due to driver error. In rural areas, for instance, the primary cause of accidents is drivers travelling at a speed too fast for the condition of the road. There’s also the proliferation of pedestrians and animals on the roadway. While head-on collisions may be the most common type of accident in rural areas, in urbanised areas there is a significant increase in intersection accidents. It is simple to avoid being a statistic and not rely on the self-belief that we


1-October-2016
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