A child standing on the front or back seat of the car or you just simply answering your cellular phone or texting while driving. Sounds familiar? These are common unsafe practices that we often make ourselves guilty of.
In a Driving Divas workshop hosted by General Motors South Africa (GMSA) for the company’s female employees at Aldo Scribante this week, a number of women were reminded of safe driving habits.
Presented by Vuyi Mpofu, columnist of Driving in Heels, the workshop covered safety aspects such as using car seats appropriately, not using one’s mobile phone whilst driving and how to be vigilant and avoid being potential hijack targets.
Mpofu was especially critical about texting and speaking on a cellular phone whilst driving. She said that any distraction while driving is an accident risk as there are so many things on the road to be vigilant for. “There are three types of distractions, visual, manual and mental distractions and texting involves all three.”
She added that drivers who are distracted by their phones are also hijack targets. “Hijackers often target women, especially those who drive alone and who are not alert when standing still at red lights. Women often check their phones and touch up make-up when standing still. Meanwhile Hijackers check their moves and strike at this time,” Mpofu.
Furthermore, Mpofu advised women of tyre safety demonstrating how to check the tread on the tyres. “The tyre tread must be at least one millimetre deep, anything less than this is unsafe and will not allow you to stop a safe distance in the event of an emergency brake,” said Mpofu.
Esterline Martin, employee at the Chevrolet general assembly line, said the workshop was an eye-opener and a reminder of all the bad habits one has when driving. “I will from now on be extra vigilant when I drive with my grandson and I’ve come to realise the importance of a car seat for him,” said Martin.
The workshop ended with practical driver training on the track and on the open road led by advance driving expert, Tschops Sipuka.
As part of GMSA’s Women’s Council initiatives, this was the first of a number of workshops for women at GMSA.