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Knowledge Hub

Knowledge Hub

5 min read

Title: Tips from a pro to drive like a pro

Motoring and Travel March 15, 2024

Professional racing isn’t just about speeding around a track. Winning on the racetrack is a balance of skill, technique and strategic decision making. It’s about mastering the art of driving, maintaining precise control and staying ahead of your opponents. And you know what? These things can also help you become a safer, more confident driver on the road.

Road accidents happen often on the roads of South Africa. According to the National Roads Agency, about 800 000 are reported each year. But what if there was a way to reduce this massive number? Professional VW Polo Cup racer Hannes Scheepers, sponsored by Dialdirect for the exciting 2024 season, believes that by taking on some of the techniques used on the racetrack, motorists can be better prepared for the challenges of everyday driving.

Here are some helpful tips from Hannes to help you navigate the roads:

1. Stay calm in an emergency

If you find yourself losing control of your car during an emergency, try not to slam on the brakes. Instead, slowly lift your foot off the accelerator, have “soft hands” without any sudden, jerking steering movements and gently counter steer in the opposite direction to regain stability before gradually accelerating again.


2. How to deal with understeer

When your car doesn’t want to turn like you want it to, ease off the accelerator, brake gently, and change your steering angle more gradually to take the corner safely.


3. How to manage oversteer

If you feel the back of your car sliding out of control, avoid hitting the brakes suddenly. Rather adjust your steering angle gradually and reduce your speed until you regain control, then accelerate slowly to straighten out.


4. Towing safely

When towing a trailer or caravan, avoid braking abruptly if it starts to sway. Instead, ease off the accelerator and let the trailer or caravan stabilise before slowly accelerating again. If you experience sway, rather pull over to make sure your towing set up is correct, with good hitch height, proper weight distribution and correctly inflated tyres. It’s also wise to make sure that your vehicle and towed unit are checked and tweaked by experts for optimum stability.


5. Maintain your car

Keep your car in top condition by regularly checking essential parts like the lights, brakes, tyres, suspension, battery, belts and chains, cooling system as well as filters and fluids. Make sure your tyres are properly pumped up and that there’s enough tread. These small checks can make a huge difference in preventing an accident.


6. Always be alert

Pay attention to your surroundings at all times. Be aware of the road and weather conditions, as well as what other drivers are doing. Be on the lookout for hazards that might pop up and make sure you’re ready if they do.


7. Don’t be distracted

It’s always tempting to have your phone nearby. But they can easily distract you. So, just put it away while you’re driving. Distracted driving is one of the main causes of accidents, so rather just stay focused on the road ahead.


8. Keep learning

It doesn’t matter if you’re a new driver or have been driving for years, there’s always something new to learn. Take an advanced driving course to help you sharpen your skills and stay safe on the road.


Don't fall into the trap of thinking that an accident won't happen to you. Follow these tips and practice safe driving habits. If you do that, you can look after yourself, your loved ones and others who are on the road.

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