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South Africa’s festive season: A summer like no other

For South Africans, the holiday season coincides with the beginning of summer and serves as a year-end break for students and several professions. Factors like the increased amounts of free time, families and friends being reunited by vacations and visits, and the country’s signature summer climate; all lead to heightened activity in all spheres of society.

Roads are especially busy during this time; filled with everything from busy business vehicles to individuals and groups trekking home, travelling for outdoor experiences, shopping, public attractions and almost a million other reasons you could imagine.

Celebrating Safely

With so much going on, it is important for people and businesses to be extra cautious on the road. According to an article from Arrive Alive, most motor vehicle accidents are caused by a variety of factors that can be grouped into three categories – driver fitness, vehicle fitness and environmental factors.

Environmental factors and driver fitness may be difficult to control, especially for vehicle owners who aren’t always behind the wheel of their car (e.g. owners or managers of fleets with several drivers). Despite this challenge, investing in vehicles with quality safety features and driver support systems makes a big difference in preventing road accidents involving pedestrians, objects, and other drivers on the road. These systems become more and more valuable as kilometres start adding up on longer journeys.

Vehicle models that prioritize safety in their designs may have special braking systems, with tyres and other technology designed to support drivers in difficult conditions.

Intelligent driver assistance technologies like Fatigue Assist, Crosswind Assist and Post-collision Braking all play a major role in making drives smoother and safer.

Examples of the roles driver assistance systems can play in mitigating road accident risks:

  • Fatigue-assist adapts to varying levels of driver fitness, which is especially tested during longer journeys and driving through traffic or congested roads.
  • Crosswind Assist helps drivers remain in their lane. The technology reduces the effect of strong winds by automatically correcting the vehicle’s course at speeds above 80km/h.
  • In the unfortunate event of a collision, Post-collision Braking helps the driver avoid any further impact.
  • Other safety measures like front-assist, lane assist and rear-traffic assist use intelligent sensors to significantly reduce the risk of road accidents – even when drivers are not able to respond in time.

Learn more about Volkswagen vehicle technologies

Vehicle Fitness

Of all three accident-causing factors, vehicle fitness is the one all car owners have the most control over. A few check-up tips and a good maintenance or service plan can ensure that no part of your vehicle becomes a liability on the road.

Refer to the Arrive Alive article referenced above for an informative DIY guide to doing your own vehicle maintenance and assessing a car’s roadworthiness.

South Africa’s Economic Landscape

Over and beyond staying safe on busy roads, the holiday season is also a period of immense economic opportunity for all South Africans. With more outdoor activity, events, families and friends being spoiled, and increased spending budgets; the period is a great time for businesses of all kinds to flourish.

With more South Africans and tourists enjoying the outdoors, the right transport solution can help businesses reach customers where they are.

Opportunities Everywhere

Examples of crafty entrepreneurs making the most of the holiday season include:

  • People movers being used as shuttles for tourists and private groups. Sometimes these vehicles are rented out to families or groups who may need them for long trips or specific events.
  • Mobile businesses selling products and/or services can access more foot traffic or have “pop-ups” at large events.
  • Increased consumer budgets, more shopping and gifting practices create an increased need for delivery and courier services all around the country.

Grab a free coffee at the Nomakanjani Coffee Crafter, which will be touring South African roads this summer. The project is a partnership between Volkswagen and local coffee businesses, that aims to help energize the people working to drive South Africa forward this holiday season.

Final Words

After another demanding year, rest and rejuvenation will be the main activity on many South African itineraries this holiday season. Others will use the period to capitalise on the exciting business opportunities available during this time. Both (rest and entrepreneurship) are valid and play an important role in driving our society forward.

Whether you’re driving your business, taking a deserved break, or spending quality time with those you love – remember to stay safe and ever-mindful of what’s most important to all of us, as we share the roads this season… Life.

Happy Holidays from the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles family.

Volkswagen South Africa is a proud Partner of the NSBC

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