Safe driving needs consistent practice of a number of different driving behaviours. Discovery Insure rewards safer driving and commenting on recorded data for male and female drivers, Precious Nduli, Head of Technical Marketing and Vitality Drive engagement for Discovery Insure, says, ‘Women score better in smooth acceleration, balanced cornering, and not speeding, while men score better in gentle braking and using their cellphones less while driving.’
Women and children remain vulnerable
These findings resonate with the preliminary Easter 2019 Road Safety Report, which showed that male drivers accounted for 72% of road accidents, compared with females who contributed 15%.
Despite female drivers being more conscious of the way they use the roads, women and children remain vulnerable to road fatalities and injuries.
Here are 5 top tips to keep safe on the roads:
1. Put your phone away
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the United States estimates people are distracted by secondary activities 30% of the time while driving.
80% of crashes and 65% of near-crashes involve some form of driver distraction that reduces driving safety.
‘Having a cellphone in sight can also put women at a higher risk of opportunistic hijacking,’ says Nduli. ‘Resist browsing or checking your phone when driving, even when you are stationary. Rather, keep your cellphone out of sight and get a hands-free car kit if your car does not have a Bluetooth system. Stay aware of your surroundings when you are waiting in traffic or at a robot.’
2. Choose a safe driver service during dangerous hours
While women generally do not drive as late in the evening as men do, using a safe personal driver service may be a smarter option at night and when drinking any alcohol. Many of these services exist, including Uber, Road Trip and Scooter Angels.
These companies operate in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Port Elizabeth, Cape Town and Durban. Scooter Angels is also available in Bloemfontein, East London, George, Nelspruit and Pietermaritzburg.
‘We encourage people to never drink and drive and not to take any unnecessary risks,’ says Nduli. ‘That’s why we offer Discovery Insure clients access to discounted, safe personal driver services at any time of the day with our DriveMe partners.’
3. Keep your car in tip-top shape
Roadworthiness of your car and fixing anything that needs repair or replacement is key to your safety on the road. ‘Women shouldn’t only rely on their fathers or partners to ensure their cars are safe to drive!’ says Nduli.
‘You don’t have to go far out of your way to make sure your car is safe to drive. Simply take it to a reputable service provider for an inspection. For example, Tiger Wheel & Tyre offers a MultiPoint check that assesses the working condition of your car and various safety functions, such as the shock absorbers.’
4. Buckle up
Not wearing a seatbelt remains a cause for concern in accidents. According to Arrive Alive, 19% of drivers, 49.9% of front passengers and 92.4% of back seat passengers are not wearing seatbelts when stopped at a roadblock.
‘No matter how short the trip, make wearing a seatbelt a habit. It helps to prevent fatalities and serious injury when involved in an accident,’ says Nduli. Always choose the right safety seat and belt for your child’s size and age.
5. Know what to do when you’re in an accident or in danger
Staying calm and getting help fast is critical in an emergency. Receiving appropriate medical care in the ‘golden hour’ or the first 60 minutes after an accident can positively affect the outcome for those involved in the accident.
‘Discovery Insure offers state-of-the-art safety features that offer immediate emergency response to a client in need to ensure they receive the necessary medical care within that golden hour,’ says Nduli. ‘If you send a panic signal or if your car experiences a large impact, we’ll call you at once. If we can’t get hold of you on your cellphone, we will immediately dispatch an emergency response team to assist you.’
Nduli encourages, ‘Let’s take steps to ensure our safety and look out for each other on the roads.’
To find out more about Discovery car insurance click here.