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Summer is fast approaching and motorists across South Africa need to ensure that along with the more pleasant weather, their cars, and their attitudes on the road, also need to be in tip-top shape. The Automobile Association (AA) said that drivers need to make sure their cars are in good condition, especially if they are looking at taking advantage of the warmer weather to make longer journeys.
“If you are going on holiday, even if it is a long weekend, or if you will be using your car more now than in winter, it is important to ensure it is ready for the change in weather. Driving in summer months is different to driving in winter, especially inland, and there are a few things people must check before it’s too late,” the AA said.
Among the important items the AA advises motorists to check are their windscreens, wipers and tyres. It is also important that vehicles be visible at all times, including at night. For this reason, owners should ensure their lights (front and back) and indicators are also working properly.
“Driving inland, many motorists may not have used their wipers for a while. It is important, as we enter a wetter season, that these are checked and in good condition. Standing outside in the sun, or only using them to clear dust off the windscreen, may have damaged the wipers, and motorists may only realise this when there is a downpour, which is dangerously late to discover they don’t work properly,” the AA warned.
Apart from this, the AA said any cracks on windscreens need to be repaired and that it is vital that tyres are checked to ensure they are in good, roadworthy condition. Too often, motorists ignore the condition of their tyres, which are a critical component to safe driving.
Consider that during the summer months small pools of water may accumulate on the road, and worn tyres may lead to aquaplaning; this occurs when the tread on the tyres is no longer able to channel water away, and the tyre lifts off the road surface, and starts to skim across the water like a speedboat.
“As the seasons change, so too will the demands on your vehicle. It is important that motorists have their vehicles checked and serviced, and that they are confident that each and every aspect of the car is working properly,” the Association said.
In addition, the AA again urged all drivers to ensure that their attitudes are positive on the road at all times. This includes not speeding, not using any electronic devices while driving, and always wearing seatbelts.
“During the summer when there are storms we all need to be aware that these will lead to delays for everyone, and that drivers should remain calm and appreciate that everyone else is in the same situation,” the AA concluded.