Car safety Dos
04 June 2013, 10:16
Of late we have seen an increase in car accidents. To make our roads safer, we need to ensure that our own behaviour leads by example.
1. Always use a child seat
Unrestrained children are at great risk in a moving vehicle. A crash at only 10km/h can kill an unrestrained child.
Don't think that holding your child in your arms is adequate either, because a child's weight effectively increases by up to 20 times in a collision, making them impossible to hold.
Always use a child seat and read the fitment and usage instruction carefully to make sure you fit and use it correctly.
The seat should be appropriate for the size and weight of your child, and must never be fitted in the front passenger seat if your vehicle has a front passenger air bag.
2. Always wear a seatbelt
Wear a seatbelt every time you drive your car, even on short journeys – accidents happen on short trips too. Ensure that all passengers – front and back – buckle up as well.
3. Adjust your head restraint
When you get into your car, buckle up and then adjust your head restraint. This will help prevent whiplash injuries which are the most common type of accident-related injury.
To be effective, a head restraint must be as close to the back of your head as possible and the top of the restraint should be level with the top of your head, or at least no lower than the level of your eyes.
4. Check the tyres
Your vehicle's tyres should be inspected at least once a month.
Check for tread depth: it should be at least 1mm across the whole surface of the tyre or 1,6mm where the tyres have tread-depth indicators.
Check your tyres for signs of damage or cracks. It's also extremely important that your tyres be inflated correctly.
Under-inflated tyres result in less control, increased braking distances, and wear out the tyres more rapidly.
Over-inflated tyres reduce grip, reduce stability and lead to poor handling.
To find out the correct tyre pressure for your vehicle, check the edge of the driver's door, the petrol flap or the owner's manual.