Become a night-time driving professional in South Africa

When driving at night-time, prioritising your safety should be your utmost concern. When the sun goes down, there are safety concerns related to crime, but you are also sharing the road with fatigued and potentially intoxicated drivers, making it even more essential to take precautions.

Summer and late-night activities usually go together, particularly as we get closer to the festive season. “You can enhance your safety by exercising caution during night-time journeys,” points out Barend Smit, Marketing Director of MotorHappy, a supplier of motor management solutions.

Before heading out, plan your route and share it with a trusted friend or family member. Use GPS navigation apps to stay on track, and try to stick to well-lit main roads, avoiding shortcuts through unfamiliar or potentially dangerous areas.

While still parked in a safe location, fasten your seatbelt, and lock your doors.

Whether driving during the day or night, following traffic rules is paramount to your safety and the safety of others. Increase your following distance, stick to the speed limit, and avoid using your cell phone while driving.

Stay vigilant when approaching intersections, even if you have the right of way. Many night-time drivers are apprehensive and might run red lights. Even if your traffic light is green, slow down to ensure you’ve checked both sides before proceeding. If you notice a red light ahead, ease off the accelerator and approach the stop line slowly.

“Criminals are known to target vehicles stopped at intersections. Keep your windows up and doors locked and leave enough space between you and the vehicle in front to make a quick escape, if necessary,” advises Smit. He continues to say be aware of any pedestrians on the road, especially in poorly lit areas.

Regular vehicle maintenance is crucial for night-time driving. Ensure your headlights, taillights, and indicators are all in working order. Also regularly check your brakes, tyres, and windshield wipers to ensure they’re working properly. A Maintenance Plan covers these wear and tear items, as well as all required services and some unexpected breakdowns. “With a Maintenance Plan you can have peace of mind knowing that all wear and tear items are covered, and you won’t get any financial surprises when these components need to be replaced,” says Smit.

Driving at night requires heightened awareness and extra precautions due to South Africa’s unique high crime rate. Stay informed of the latest hijacking hotspots and criminal tactics to reduce your risk on the road. Remember, safety should always be a top priority when driving.