Get your heel behind the wheel

2012-02-10 13:15

Vuyi Jabavu is known for her female-focused initiative called Driving In Heels. She’s taken it up a notch with a Ladies Defensive-Driving course.

There are hundreds of defensive-driving courses to choose from, but Jabavu says hers is different because it’s designed for women by a woman.

Jabavu, who lives in Sandton, is a motoring journalist and a marketing specialist.

“The driving course was really just the next step and a natural progression from what I’ve been preaching in theory,” says Jabavu.

She also has an understanding of how women drive – especially those with children.

“I’ve also found that women often don’t speak up at driving courses because they’re afraid to ask men questions that might sound silly, so they’re more comfortable with other women.

“The skidpan is a good example. Men don’t think of the baby seat in the back, whereas mothers think of the obstacles that may hit the car and the safety of their children,” she says.

Launched in 2010, the courses are split into theory sessions and a full-track day at the Gerotek testing facility in Pretoria West.

While there may be treats such as massages and a nail bar offered during the course, the track days are from 8am to 4.30pm

The course includes looking at different types of shoes to drive in and why not all shoes are safe.

“I show why flexible shoes, such as slippers or sandals, can be dangerous as they can get stuck beneath your car mat and it could potentially cause an accident.

“Also, people generally think that high heels are dangerous for driving. I drive in heels all the time so I explain to women about rubber soles and steel pedals, and other tricks when driving.”

Thus Jabavu also looks at the correct seating position when driving in heels, among other things. Practical driving demos

are done by Toyota Advanced Driving, but Jabavu is looking to obtaining her advanced-driving instructor’s licence.

In an environment that has one of the highest accident rates in the world (2011 figures estimate that 33 accidents occur daily nationwide), and where women have become the highest “consumers” of vehicles, Jabavu uses these concerns to address the needs of the female driver.

Part of the course also includes accident statistics, anti-hijacking measures and safe driving tips presented by the Johannesburg Metro Police Department.

» To make bookings, email Vuyi Jabavu on info@drivinginheels.co.za 

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