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It is 15 minutes meant to save your life. Student drivers in KwaZulu-Natal who pass their learner’s test are required to watch a 15-minute education programme called Fatal Moves.
It was launched in KwaZulu-Natal last August, and so far, the response has been good.
“It has been fantastic. Learners were asked what they thought of the programme and we have had very good feedback. We were hearing stuff like ‘this has changed my approach to driving’,” said Ismail Amod, whose company Neo Africa started the Fatal Moves programme.
Amod said they had come up with the idea of the 14 moves after research showed that these factors were behind most serious accidents on SA roads. The images show the aftermath of accidents caused by the 14 factors associated with crashes, and are meant to shock.
Gary Ronald, spokesman for the AA, said the Fatal Moves programme was great as it showed drivers in graphic detail the consequences of bad driving.
But it is not just learner drivers that the programme is attempting to reach. There is also a website, www.fatal moves.com, that the organisers want older drivers to see. They also have a presence on Twitter.
YOU SHOULD KNOW - THESE ARE THE 14 FATAL MOVES:
1 - DRINKING, DRUGS AND DRIVING
Driving a vehicle requires your maximum skill and attention. Drugs and alcohol affect your decision-making abilities and your reaction time. If you drive after drinking alcohol or taking drugs, you will make dangerous and reckless decisions.
You will risk not only your life but also those of your passengers and other road users. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a serious offence.
If caught you will be arrested, you will have a criminal record, you will lose your licence. and you may even lose your job.
There is no “safe” amount of alcohol or drugs. Bottom line is - if you take alcohol or drugs, don’t drive. Rather get someone to drive for you or get a lift or call a taxi.
2 - CORRUPTION/BRIBERY/FRAUD
If you resort to corruption, bribery or fraud to drive, you are not fit or qualified to drive any vehicle and you should know that you are driving illegally.
As a criminal you have no rights to share our roads with other legitimate road users. If you allow your child to obtain a driving licence by paying a bribe you are aiding such criminality.
You could also be assisting your child to an early death by road accident.
If you “buy” your licence you are just as corrupt as the person you bought it from. Think about it.
3 - AGGRESSIVE DRIVING
Examples include: Driving very close to the vehicle in front (tailgating); not adhering to the “keep left, pass right” rule (hogging the “fast lane”); driving so slowly that you are inconveniencing others; cutting in front of another vehicle (gapping in); suddenly braking or stopping; flashing headlights or hooting unnecessarily; disregarding pedestrians; shouting, swearing or making obscene gestures.
You share the road with other road users. If you drive aggressively and without consideration, you will contribute to the carnage.
4 - OVERLOADING
An overloaded vehicle carries more weight than it has been designed and certified to carry.
The dangers: It will not respond as expected to steering wheel inputs, or accelerate as expected – it won’t be able to overtake safely; it will take longer to slow down or stop; a burst tyre could cause complete loss of control; t0he vehicle could tilt to one side and topple over.
Never overload your vehicle (or trailer) beyond the weight or numbers of passengers specified by the vehicle manufacturer or licensing authority.
5 - IGNORING CONDITIONS
Drive much more cautiously under these poor driving conditions: Light or heavy rain; light or heavy hailstorms; wind or dust storms; veld or bushfires; at night; mist or fog; sunrise and sunset; winding roads; roads with potholes; gravel (dirt) roads; and traffic jams.
Drive much slower than the applicable speed limit and be extra careful to avoid being distracted. Increase your level of concentration and be even more observant.
Also switch on your vehicle’s headlights and increase your following distance to at least five vehicle lengths.
6 - IGNORING PEDESTRIANS
Thirty-one percent of all fatal accidents involve pedestrians, because in many parts of our country, they share the roads with vehicles.
At night, without any form of reflective armbands or strips, they are often invisible until less than 20m away. It is a driver’s responsibility to look out for pedestrians and to avoid hitting them. Slow down when on roads leading to schools, near shops, or at intersections.
Take extra care on rural roads for pedestrians and animals. Killing a pedestrian has life-changing consequences ranging from personal guilt to jail time or loss of your own life.
7 - SPEEDING
“Metal, glass, flesh and bones are a deadly mix.”
A vehicle is a precision machine made mostly of hard metal and sharp glass. Drivers, passengers and pedestrians are ordinary human beings made of soft flesh and weak bones. Metal, glass, flesh and bones are a deadly mix.
Remember that the faster you travel, the harder you hit. A collision at 50km/h is like dropping your car off a three-storey building. A collision at 100km/h is like dropping your car off a 12-storey building.
When travelling 120km/h you (and your vehicle) travel the length of a football field every three seconds.
8 - RECKLESS OVERTAKING
Overtaking is a driver’s most complex move. In most cases, at least three vehicles are involved in an overtaking manoeuvre – your vehicle, the vehicle you are trying to overtake and the vehicle coming in the opposite direction.
Your vehicle must be able to travel faster than the vehicle you are overtaking and there must be adequate distance between your vehicle and the oncoming vehicle.
Overtaking in wet weather or with a heavily loaded vehicle is even more dangerous. Never overtake where there is a barrier line.
9 - NOT USING A SEATBELT
In a vehicle, your body travels at the same speed as the vehicle. For example, if you are driving from 120km/h to 0km/h within 1m or 2m, if you and your passengers are not wearing seat belts, your bodies will go through the windscreen at 120km/h and you will be severely injured or, more likely, killed.
So ensure that you and your passengers are buckled up. Toddlers must be strapped into approved safety seats.
10 - FAILING TO STOP OR YIELD
As a driver you need to co-operate and work with others at a junction or intersection.
There is a high probability of a fatal crash if: You don’t completely stop at a red traffic light or stop sign; you don’t comply with stop/go signals around roadworks; you don’t slow down at a yield sign; you don’t yield right of way to all traffic or you don’t treat an intersection with defective traffic lights as a four-way stop.
At a four-way stop, stop your car completely, and wait your turn. This rule applies to every vehicle; there are no exceptions.
11 - DEFECTIVE TYRES
Each tyre’s contact with the road is about the size of the palm of your hand… in other words, it’s very small. If that small contact area loses grip for any reason, there is a high probability that you will lose control of the vehicle.
Loss of grip may result from the tread being less than the legal limit, damage (such as from hitting a pothole), illegal regrooving (retreads) of tyres or incorrect tyre pressures.
Remember that the grooves on tyres are also there to displace water that may get trapped between the tyre rubber and the road. If the grooves are shallow, water will not be displaced.
12 - UNROADWORTHY VEHICLES
You should not drive an unsafe vehicle. Here are some examples:
- A vehicle with defective lights may not be seen by other drivers.
- Faulty steering will lead to the car not turning as the driver expected.
- A shattered windscreen or faulty wipers will block a driver’s view of the road.
- Worn-out tyres will cause a vehicle to skid out of control in wet conditions.
- Illegal modification of vehicles may cause the vehicle to catch alight.
- Defective brakes hinder a vehicle from stopping.
- Oil leaks cause slippery patches on roads that could cause vehicles to skid.
13 - TIRED AND SLEEPY?
A tired driver will not be fully alert and perceptive and so will react slower, or may never react, to changing road situations. A driver may become tired as a result of factors such as: Driving for more than two hours without a break; driving after working hard or partying hard; illness or poor eyesight; driving at night; discomfort due to extreme temperatures, uncomfortable seating, or high noise levels or inadequate fresh air.
Taking medication that makes you drowsy. Ensure you only take such medicine when you have reached your destination and can rest.
14 - DISTRACTIONS
Actions such as talking on a cellphone, SMSing while driving, fiddling with the CD player, watching movies or engaging with passengers distract the driver.
Even a tiny distraction could cause the driver to make an error of judgement that could cause a collision. A distracted driver may, for example: Fail to recognise an approaching danger; fail to observe road signs; fail to maintain proper lane position, a safe following distance and legal speed; react more slowly to changing road situations or become angry and engage in road rage.