JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – Every vehicle driver’s goal is to travel safely from point A to point B so road safety-conscious Tiger Wheel & Tyre has put together some information that might be useful to less-experienced drivers.
Such as those who usually drive only in major cities and rarely go long-distance. Carman’s Corner is happy to pass on their suggestions… (even our editor didn’t know some of them!).
Decoding Route Markers
Common they might be but, says TWT, its surprising how few drivers understand what route markers mean. These are the blue road signs that read something like “N4-7X and below that 32.0 W”.
It’s not a complicated code:
N4 – identifies the road you’re on
7X – tells you which section you are on
32 – denotes your kilometre position on that section
W – indicates you’re travelling west.
Such information might seem trivial but if you need to call emergency services from the roadside they will help to identify your location to within about 100m. If you have to jog to find one of these signs, they are only 200m apart on all national roads.
Protecting Little Passengers
Should the adults in the car be unable to speak on behalf of small children in the vehicle it’s important that emergency personnel get all the information they need. Tiger Wheel & Tyre recommends you attach an ICE (in case of emergency) tag to each child’s seat.
Include the child’s full name and date of birth, names and phone numbers for non-present parents, and an additional emergency contact/s such as the child’s pediatrician, plus information regarding allergies or medical conditions.
The Corner also advises: DO NOT display your CHILDREN/BABY IN CAR sign unless there actually ARE children in the vehicle during your journey. Emergency personnel could waste valuable time searching for littlies they believe might have been thrown out of the car. Fire crews might even risk their lives looking for them
BABY IN CAR is NOT a badge of fertility and good mother/fatherhood – it should only be used when necessary.
Save Emergency Numbers on Your Phone
It’s difficult to think clearly through an emergency, whether that’s a vehicle collision or a puncture in a neighbourhood that makes you nervous. Give yourself an advantage by saving all emergency and roadside assistance numbers on your phone so you won’t have to fumble around for them.
You should also save your ICE information to your phone. Both Apple (IOS 8 and later) and Android phones have a feature that enables this information to be displayed on your Lock Screen so emergency responders can read it from a locked phone.
In iOS, go to the Apple Health App, select Medical ID, fill in your information, activate “Show When Locked” and hit Save. On an Android phone, open Settings, select Security & Location, by Screen Lock select Settings, then tap Lock Screen Message, enter your ICE info and save.
Vehicle Fitness Matters
Whether you’re journeying across the country or driving as usual, remember to regularly assess your “vehicle fitness”. Check indicators and lights, see you have the tools to change a wheel with a flat tyre, and that your tyres are inflated to the manufacturer’s recommended pressures, which you’ll find in the owner’s manual or inside the driver’s door.
The tools you’ll need to change a tyre include an emergency triangle to warn approaching drivers of a hazard, wheel chocks (rocks or bricks also work) to prevent the car rolling when it’s jacked up, a spanner to loosen the wheel nuts, and a jack to lift the vehicle.
If you have McGard wheel locks (available from Tiger Wheel & Tyre) you’ll also need the special wheel nut ‘key’ that came with them. KEEP IT IN THE CAR AT ALL TIMES.
Tiger Wheel & Tyre offers a FREE vehicle safety check – don’t leave it to chance. Find your nearest store on the website (www.twt.to) or click here for the store locator. Pop in for your free check and let the experts help you to travel safely.