5 driving myths that aren’t true at all

By Franco Havenga
16 March 2017

People often think that because they’ve been driving for years, they know everything there is to know about their car and the road. But this isn’t necessarily true…

Here are five widely-believed driving myths that actually aren’t true at all. Have you heard any of these?

1. Seatbelts and airbags do more harm than good

Although seatbelts and air bags don’t completely ensure you won’t be hurt in an accident, they can prevent serious injuries during collisions.

Always make sure you’re buckled up, whether you’re seated in the back or the front of the vehicle. 

2. Drinking coffee can help if you’re too tired to drive

The truth is that coffee’s effect doesn’t kick in immediately, and even when it does, it doesn’t mean that you’ll feel alert enough to concentrate on the road.

More importantly: It’s not possible to force yourself to stay awake.

When you feel tired, stop at the nearest town and try to find somewhere to rest.

3. You need to swerve quickly to avoid hitting animals in the road

In most cases, trying to swerve at the last minute to avoid hitting an animal is a knee-jerk reaction.

Normally though, it’s a good idea to hit the brakes a before you swerve.

If you immediately veer your car into a different direction you can put yourself in more danger by possibly colliding with an oncoming vehicle or driving into a ditch or an obstacle on the side of the road. 

4. You need to let your car idle before you can drive it

We’ve all heard that when getting into a cold car, we need to let the engine idle for a while so it can “warm up”

But in reality, cars have long since advanced past the need to heat up before they get going. Nowaday, idling before you hit the road is really just a waste of petrol.

5. Your car is lightening resistant

You often hear that the metal of your vehicle and the rubber of the tyres make it a good place to shelter yourself from lightening in the event of a thunder storm. Unfortunately, this isn’t entirely true.

While a metal car does offer some safety, an open window or touching the metal can be dangerous in thunder storm. 

If you can, park at the nearest petrol station or shop and take shelter inside to stay safe. 

Sources: Defensivedriving.com, Saaq.gouv.qc.ca, Trafficschoolonline.com, Abcnews.go.com, Pipint.com

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