It’s Youth Day this month | Take the safe route
For Matrix, safety along the journey is of the utmost importance and while your vehicle’s safety is important, imparting safe driving habits are critical to protecting our loved ones as they start using our roads.
This month, in celebration of Youth Day (16 June), we take a look at some of the ways in which we can instil valuable habits to our youth early on, so that they can stay safe on the roads in the future.
Setting a good example – start early
Setting a good example is more important than you may think. Much the same as you would teach a toddler to share, say please and show kindness – the same holds true when it comes to road safety.
Some fundamental things to bear in mind when setting a good “on-the-road” example is to think twice before shouting or hooting at other cars or pedestrians – this can set a bad example for the younger ones in your car.
Instead, look at positively reinforcing road safety such as pointing out what the various road signs and signals mean, for younger people travelling with you. You may even find there are some you don’t know yourself! Use it as an opportunity for you and your loved ones to learn by turning it into a game to test their knowledge just for fun!
Importance of a car seat
Our country’s future is our youth and of course, it’s our job to protect them as we experience life’s journey with them. One certain way of doing so is by ensuring that the little ones are strapped into a car seat when travelling in a vehicle. In fact, recently in South Africa a new law was passed to make it compulsory for any child under 3 to be secured in a car seat.
For those children who have outgrown a safety seat, a booster seat should be used until they are at least 121 cm.
Research by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that a car seat reduces the risk of death among babies by 71% and for toddlers by 54%, so there is no doubt that car seats play a vital role – indicating a strong need for us as caretakers to make the change.
Beginner drivers- some tips for novice motorists
For those driving on the roads for the first time alone, we know this can at times be completely unnerving and it will likely take a while before a first time driver feels truly comfortable and at ease behind the wheel. To ease this stress, preparation and concentration is the key!
So to make these first few months a little easier, look for quieter back roads when driving, instead of taking the daunting high speed roads, such as highways. In addition, make sure you have a step by step guide to follow should you be in an accident. Things such as who to call first, what information to collect from the other driver, insurance and emergency contact details are important. The Matrix app is an excellent resource for new drivers, providing immediate access to vital emergency contacts.
Speaking of insurance, it can be very expensive for young drivers to take a policy out for the first time. To receive a lower quote on insurance, research what categorises a vehicle into ‘high risk’. For example, try and avoid metallic colours – rather go for a white car. A vehicle tracking device will also contribute to decreased premiums for young drivers.
And something all of us have faced before, being able to navigate as a new driver. Our advice is to make sure you download a no cost satellite navigation app for your smartphone to ensure you won’t find yourself driving down a one-way or lost in a dark street. Put the address in before you leave – not while driving – and if using a tracking device, such as Matrix, set a notification to let people know when you have reached your destination safely.
To all new and ‘to-be’ motorists – happy Youth Month. To all our experienced drivers, remember there is always something new to learn and certainly always something new to teach. And to all drivers – experienced and new – Matrix will continue to be right by your side when it matters most.
The Matrix Team