Road Safety



The holidays are nearly upon us – let’s talk about festive season road safety!

Nicknamed the “silly season”, the annual summer holidays are a time of jolly festivity. It is also a time when people seem to be more careless in many regards, but also on our roads.

 Last month we discussed how to ensure your child’s car seat was ready for the holiday season. This month we are addressing general road safety.

Whether you are going away for the holidays or taking a “staycation” here are some tips for staying safe on the road.


Before the holiday season kicks off, this is a fantastic time to get your car serviced and tyres replaced.

Vehicle maintenance is an essential part of road safety. A vehicle that is not functioning at its peak performance is a hazard to you and others on the road. Ask your mechanic to do a full service. Check engine health, brakes, wheel alignment, airbags, lights, and other important checks included in a service.

It is also important to check whether your tyres are in need of replacement, especially if you are embarking on a long trip. Don’t forget to make sure that your spare tyre is also checked and ready in case you sustain a puncture.

It is also wise to invest in a breakdown kit, should you have any troubles on your journey. A breakdown kit should include:

  • Spare tyre & car jack and spanner
  • Reflective vest
  • Emergency triangle
  • Jumper Cables
  • Spare fuses

Book a service with our road safety partner, Supa Quick. Supa Quick also serves as a drop-off point for car seat donations. You can help us to ensure that a child in need of a car seat is travelling safely these holidays.


When planning out your journey, it is a good idea to consider the length of your journey and how familiar you are with the roads you are travelling on.

If you are planning on travelling across the country, consider stopping overnight to break up the journey. Especially if you are solely responsible for driving, it is best not to drive for more than 6-7 hours in a single day. For example, those driving from Gauteng to the coast, Gariep Dam and surrounding towns make for a nice halfway overnight stop. It has many options to cater to your needs, whether you are travelling alone, with children or pets. Remember – you are on holiday, so try not to rush the trip in a single day, if it is safer to do it over two days. If there is more than one available driver, take turns driving so that each driver is able to rest. Fatigue is almost as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs!

Try to take note of routes that offer frequent stops, such as roadside petrol stations. This will give you an opportunity to have a coffee, stretch your legs and let your kids run around for a bit.

Always know how far away the next available stop is so that you do not get caught unaware – whether it is to rest or fill up on fuel. You should take a rest stop every 2 hours or 200km.


Holiday travelling often takes one away from all that we are familiar with. When travelling on unfamiliar roads, drive with extra caution.

Even when you are on holiday, roadworks and potholes don’t take time off. Some areas of the country have terrible roads and there are many potholes. When driving along these stretches of road, drive slowly to avoid damaging your vehicle or tyres.

Roadworks are also almost always something you will encounter while travelling on the road. Remember they are essential to the upkeep of the roads, so exercise patience when encountering them. Be aware of upcoming “Stop & Go’s”, and pay attention to signs and signals from road workers. Never try and skip the queue or try and slip through a “Stop & Go”. If it is not your turn to do so this can very likely end in a collision.

Keeping an eye on loadshedding schedules and weather reports along your route can also alert you to upcoming adverse driving conditions so that you can safely navigate them. As we have discussed before, for every adverse driving condition – whether that be driving in the dark or during loadshedding, harsh weather or damaged roads – drive 10% slower for each adverse condition. This will give you extra time to react to anything dangerous and unpredictable that may cross your path.


Think of trucks on the road as “Santa’s helpers”. They need to transport their goods to stores so that you are able to go shopping for gifts, food and other merry things this season.

Without the transport industry, the holidays would not be nearly as festive and jolly. Throughout the holiday season, trucks will be trekking back and forth across the country. It is important to know how to safely share the road with them.

As we stated in a previous article, 70% of truck-related car fatalities are initiated by car drivers. 35% of these fatalities occur in trucks’ blind spots. Be mindful of trucks’ blindspots when overtaking them.


As a rule of thumb when driving near or far during the holiday season, expect there to be roadblocks.

It goes without saying that you should ALWAYS have your driver’s licence on you when operating a vehicle. If there was ever a time you would get caught driving without one, it is during the festive season. The South African Police Service and Metro Police are on high alert for unsafe behaviour. Ensure your licence is valid and up to date, or else you might find yourself with a hefty fine for Christmas. Also, ensure that your vehicle is roadworthy and in a safe condition for driving.

By the same token, roadblocks are ready and waiting to breathalyse anyone who may have gotten a bit too much into the festive spirit. In today’s times, with easy access to Uber and other similar taxi services, there is no reason to drink and drive.

If you are going to be drinking, plan ahead and leave your car behind or have a designated driver. When you drink before getting behind the wheel, you are not only putting yourself at risk but everyone else on the road. This is an avoidable risk. Also, if you make the right choice, consider that other people might not be as responsible. Be on the lookout for other drivers who may be driving unsafely or erratically and report them.


A large part of the population will be travelling to the coast to enjoy summer on the beach. Towns and cities by the ocean see a huge increase in the number of pedestrians. Some towns will even close off roads, making them pedestrian-only. With people walking between the beach, restaurants and bars, it is important to be extra careful when navigating these crowded areas. This is even more true at night. Drive slowly and check your blind spots.

If you are a pedestrian during these busy times, look right and left before crossing the road. Avoid walking alone if you are inebriated.

Also, be on the lookout for pickpocketing and muggings in some areas. Keep your valuables hidden to avoid becoming a target.


At the beginning of December, matrics from all over the country will be flocking to the coast to celebrate the end of exams and the beginning of adulthood. Durban and Plettenberg Bay are especially popular destinations. Many of these youngsters will be elated by their newfound freedom to drive and drink legally. Unfortunately sometimes at the same time.

Most of us remember our own Matric Rage or similar post-high school “jol”. It can be a time when a sense of responsibility is not at the top of our priority list. If you see any teens getting themselves into trouble and acting irresponsibly, step in to help or report it to someone who is equipped to assist.

Red Frogs is a fantastic organisation of volunteers who help out at Matric Rage festivals around South Africa. They are specifically there to help anyone who might have partied too hard. They also give out free pancakes!

To our matrics of 2023: have fun, stay safe, drink water, take Ubers, and enjoy your first taste of adulthood this summer. Also, be respectful of the locals in the town you are visiting.


Before you leave for the holiday, consider donating blood if you are able – it is the season of giving, after all. Car crashes are an inevitable part of the holiday season, but your blood could save someone’s life. A car crash victim can require up to 100 units of blood and supplies run low over the holidays.

Take a look at the SANBS website to find out where to donate.

From all of us at Wheel Well, have a magnificently festive holiday season with family and friends. Stay safe on the roads and always, drive lovingly. See you next year!



The last leg of the year is upon us and the holiday season is right around the corner. Before the holidays start, now is a good time to check that your car seats are the correct size for your children and safe for use.

Although the holidays are filled with cheer and merriment, a time with family and friends, it is also a time when our roads are the most deadly. As much as it is a time for rest and relaxation, one should never relax when it comes to road safety. Especially when it comes to the safety of our children.

Here is a list of ten things to ensure your car seat is ready for the festive season. 


Children have a tendency to get bigger at lightning speed. Anyone with young children knows the pain of having to buy new clothes almost seasonally as their young ones outgrow everything. The same is true of their car seats.

It is very important that your child’s car seats are the correct size and type for their developmental stage. Infants, toddlers and young children all have different requirements for their developmental stages and it is vital that their car seat caters to these needs. An incorrect car seat for their age, size and weight could result in serious injury or death in the event of a crash.

This is a great time to check whether your car seat is still suitable for your child’s developmental stage. We have these useful infographics and this article to help you to determine whether it’s suitable. If you are still unsure, get in contact with Wheel Well and we will be happy to help you. 


The safest place for your child to be in a vehicle is in the backseat. This is true up until at least age 13 years. Should they be flung from their harness in a collision while seated in the back, the seat in front of them will better prevent them from going through the windshield. In the front seat, the impact of the airbag deploying could cause them serious injury and even death if they are in a car seat. The backseat is again safer for this reason. 


The topic of rear-facing car seats is something we have covered several times before. Ultimately, you want to keep your child in a rear-facing car seat for as long as possible – usually up until 15 months. Due to an infant or toddler having a more fragile body and bone structure, they need more support. In a forward-facing seat a collision may cause their head to be flung forward with enormous force. This can result in death on account of their still-developing neck and head. By rear-facing their car seat, the backrest provides better support against the momentum of a car crash. 


When installing a car seat, correct installation is vital. Ensure that you have followed the car seat manual to the letter to make sure it is safe and secure. Once you have the car seat installed, give it a firm shake. Try to move it from side to side, and then backwards and forwards. If your car seat is safely and correctly installed, it should not move more than an inch (2.5cm) in any direction. Regularly check this to ensure that it remains true. 


Once your car seat is secure, the next thing to check is whether the harnesses are snug. Firstly check that the harness straps are correctly slotted through the car seat in compliance with the manual.

Once your child is securely buckled up in their seat, make sure the straps are not too tight. This can cause a lot of discomfort and even injury. It is even more important to ensure that the straps are not too loose. Loose straps could render the car seat ineffective if your child is able to slip out. Try and pinch the straps – if you’re able to pinch any excess webbing then they are too loose and should be tightened.

When positioning the harness on a rear-facing car seat, the harness should be slightly below the shoulder. On a forward-facing car seat, check that the harness is slightly above the shoulder. 


When strapping your little one in, run your fingers along the harness straps to ensure that they are not twisted. Not only is this uncomfortable for your child, but it can also interfere with ensuring that the straps are properly tightened. A twisted harness can also cause extra bruising and injury in a collision. 


If you have no other alternative than to place your child’s car seat on the front passenger seat, remember to deactivate the airbag. The force at which an airbag deploys, while potentially saving the life of an adult, can be fatal to a child. This is especially true of a rear-facing car seat which could propel a young child face-first into the seat with incredible impact on their heads, neck and spine. We never recommend rear-facing a car seat in the passenger seat for this reason. 


If your child is likely to fall asleep or you notice them starting to nod off, put the car seat into the reclined position. Place a small neck cushion or else a rolled up cloth or towel under their chin. This will help them to breathe freely. On the inverse, do not put a cushion or similar behind their heads as this will tilt their heads too far forward, causing discomfort and potentially hindering their breathing. 


Long car journeys can be taxing even on an adult, let alone a child. Especially with the excitement of a fun holiday at the end of a trip, children are often energetic and can grow quickly tired of the confines of a car. When they sleep in a car seat, they also do not get the same good quality sleep as they would in a bed. This can result in slightly lower blood oxygen levels and a child that may be a bit more grumpy than usual. When travelling with children, plan to stop every two hours or 200km in order for them to stretch their legs and expel some energy.

Thankfully there are many petrol stations along the major highways that have jungle gyms and kiddie play areas. If you are travelling off the beaten track and don’t have access to these facilities, take a little walk with the children away from the roads to get blood and oxygen flowing again. This will make for a more comfortable trip for everyone.



For many children, the excitement of getting in the car and setting off on holiday can wear off quickly. It’s best to be prepared for potentially having some bored and restless little passengers. Unless you are fortunate to have a quiet “car-sleeper”, have some toys and snacks on hand. Avoid snacks that might have a high sugar content because the last thing you want is a hyperactive child going wild in the back seat.

If they are playing with toys, let them play with one toy at a time. You don’t want them to get bored of everything all at once, but more importantly it is good to pack away any unnecessary toys that could be flung around in a crash.

A tablet with some movies or audiobooks can keep them entertained for long periods of time. Alternatively, playing some interactive car games with them (such as the classic “I Spy”) will also help stave off the all too familiar “Are we there yet?”. 

Next month we will be looking at some general tips for anyone travelling on the road over the festive season. Otherwise, we wish you and your family safe travels and a fantastic festive season.

Once again, should you have any further questions or need any help getting your car seat ready for the holidays, Wheel Well is always happy to provide advice. Please get in contact here.



Transportation vehicles and their industry play a vital role in the economy of a country. Along with transportation via air and sea, trucks, buses, and trains are key to the transportation of people, food, and goods across the country.

October is South Africa’s Transport Month and we acknowledge the hard work of the transportation industry. Transportation infrastructure has a huge influence on the way people and goods move. Reliable transportation provides people with access to a greater travelling distance from home – thus more work opportunities -, as well as ensures that store shelves remain full. Often when transportation infrastructure is interrupted, everyday people immediately experience the negative impact of food and goods shortages. 

Transport Month aims to raise awareness of this very important industry and ask for business and civic society participation “in providing a safer, more affordable, accessible and reliable transport”, according to the South African government. 

In line with our work, we would like to take this opportunity to discuss how drivers and pedestrians can safely navigate transportation vehicles on the road. As these vehicles are much larger, extra precautions must be taken when sharing the road with them. Learning about the limitations and challenges that drivers of these vehicles face when operating them can be an important factor when navigating the roads around them. 


Especially with regards to trucks, a larger vehicle size makes for larger blind spots for the truck driver. Arrive Alive states that “70% of truck-related car fatalities are initiated by car drivers”. 35% of these fatalities occur in trucks’ blind spots. 

This means that other users of the road must be aware of these limitations so that they do not position themselves on the road where the truck driver is unable to see them. Most freight vehicles additionally do not have a rearview mirror. 

Because of these factors, it is important to give yourself extra distance between yourself and a truck. As a general rule, if you cannot see the driver’s face in their side mirrors, they cannot see you. If you follow too closely behind them, they are also not able to see your car around the large body of the truck. 

When overtaking a truck or bus, it is crucial to your safety to give yourself enough time and distance from the vehicle. This is so the driver can see you coming from a way off and can respond accordingly. Trucks and buses have a slower reaction time on account of their size, so it’s best to avoid “sneaking up” on them. 

As a pedestrian, you are already less visible to drivers, and added precaution should be taken when using the road alongside trucks and buses. Never try to cross the road too close to the front and rear of a large vehicle as you will find yourself in their blind spots. This can have devastating consequences for a pedestrian. If possible, rather wait for them to pass before attempting to cross the road. If a truck is reversing, never cross behind it as the driver will not be able to see you doing so. 

Take note of oncoming buses when crossing a bus lane. As they often see fewer vehicles than the other lanes, some people become complacent when looking out for oncoming buses. It is also not unusual for minibus taxis to illegally cross into the bus lane during peak traffic times in an attempt to reach their destination timeously. 

It should also be noted that due to the longer and wider bodies of freight vehicles, such as trucks, they have an incredibly wide turning radius. If you see a truck intending to turn, ensure that you have allowed enough space between yourself and the truck. Not doing so can very easily result in a collision. 

Large vehicles are required to have reflective strips around the entire body of the vehicle, as well as a chevron board mounted on the rear to highlight the width, although this is not always enforced. At night, trucks are far less visible despite their size. Always drive cautiously around a truck in the dark. Extra-long trucks and those driving with a trailer attached are usually marked as such. Take added caution when overtaking longer trucks. You should only do so when you have more than enough visible road ahead of you to safely do so. 


Given the large size of transport vehicles, as well as the momentum of their heavy load, a longer stopping distance is required. The greater the speed at which the truck is driving, the longer the stopping distance. The stopping distance needed for large vehicles is also exponentially increased at night and in adverse weather conditions. 

Because of this, maintaining a safe distance from a truck is key to avoiding a potentially fatal crash. This is extended to overtaking trucks and letting them pass. As truck drivers will try to ensure distance between themselves and other vehicles, many cars will see this as an opportunity to cut into the space provided, rather than keep it clear to allow for a safe stopping distance. 

If a bus or truck is approaching a red light, do not cut in front as these vehicles will require additional distance and time to come to a stop. Doing so may have devastating consequences. Always err on the side of caution when approaching an intersection with a large vehicle. 

As a pedestrian, crossing in front of an oncoming truck can prove fatal as the driver may not have enough time to brake to avoid you. 


Especially in cities, trains are a mode of transport for many people. Freight trains also run across the country carrying coal and agricultural products. 

When reaching a train crossing by car, look in both directions and listen for the train before crossing. Trains travel very fast and can approach quicker than you anticipate. At night, it is also harder to correctly judge how far away the train may be. If you see a train approaching, wait for it to pass before crossing the tracks. Never stop your vehicle on the tracks. 

If you commute via train, making use of a train station should also be done with safety in mind. Never stand over the yellow line next to the tracks and only approach the train when the doors are open and it is safe to do so. Do not try to board a train if the doors are closing and the train is getting ready to pull away. 

Trying to hitch a free ride by hanging on the side of the train or else climbing on the roof will likely also end in a fatality as trains move at a high speed. This makes it impossible to hold on for the duration of the trip. 

Pedestrians should avoid walking along train tracks. Prevent children from playing on or near the tracks. If a pedestrian is too close to a passing train, they are at risk of getting sucked underneath the train which will be fatal.

Never throw rocks or other objects on the tracks as these can become projectiles under the fast-moving wheels of a train. 

Freight vehicle operators already have a job filled with challenges, whether it be the risk of truck burnings, looting, or long hours spent on the road. This Transport Month let’s all make the effort to drive more consciously around trucks, buses, and trains, not only for everyone’s safety on the road but to also make their job just a little bit easier.



Child passenger safety is at the core of Wheel Well’s mission, therefore we especially look forward to this year’s Child Passenger Safety Week from 17-23 September 2023.

Child Passenger Safety Week was a campaign that began in the United States. It has since been adopted globally by other countries since its start seven years ago. The campaign emphasises correct car seat usage for children throughout their development. It also aligns with Wheel Well’s “Car Seats for Kids” campaigns, sharing the same goals.

Besides creating awareness throughout the week of the campaign, Seat Check Saturday forms part of the campaign. This dedicates a specific day to encourage parents to check that they are using the correct seat for their child’s developmental stage. It also helps parents ensure that they are using their car seat as intended, as well as making sure it is correctly installed. 

Car seats and other child vehicle restraints are effective in preventing serious injuries or death to young passengers on our roads. Despite this, the NHTSA, the organisation responsible for starting Child Passenger Safety Week, found that in the US, 46% of car seats are used incorrectly. 

In South Africa, this number is higher in the absence of widespread awareness and legislation to enforce effective road safety. Families in developing countries are also more likely to find financial barriers to ensuring that their children are safely restrained in a vehicle.

A 2020 South African study found that only 7.8% of children in their survey were correctly restrained. 

We have released several articles in the past providing practical advice for parents regarding how they can keep their children safe in a vehicle. This month, we would like to take a different approach to this. Road and vehicle safety is always the responsibility of the parent or guardian, however engaging with your children regarding road safety can help plant the seed of awareness in your little one’s mind. We would like to look at ways you can engage them on the topic of road safety. 


Often we underestimate a child’s capacity for reason. With the right approach, children are capable of understanding more than we give them credit for. If you have a fussy child, perhaps strong-willed and vocal in their likes and dislikes, they might not take to their car seat as enthusiastically as others. But a restrained child is not just safer for them, but for everyone. A rambunctious child on the loose is a huge distraction and stress for the driver. Thus they must become acclimated to using a car seat. 

If your child fights against their car seat, help them understand the importance of it through play. Even a young child on some level understands that getting hurt is not nice. If you’re unable to reason with them directly, using their favourite doll or teddy might be more effective in getting your point across. Appeal to their sense of caring.

You could approach it like this: 

● Let them roleplay as the “parent” to their Teddy and show them how to put Teddy in the car seat so that it will be safe. 

● Show them how the car seat will keep Teddy safe if you have to brake suddenly or if the car is jolted, such as in a crash. 

Ask them to feel the straps and see if they are too loose or too tight. If they are too tight, Teddy might be uncomfortable. If they are too loose, show how Teddy would slip right out. 

The latter can also be explained concerning seat belts. Show why mom and dad, or older siblings, can safely use a seat belt. Explain how they are too small for a seat belt, thus explaining why they need to use a car seat. 

Have your child ask Teddy if he is comfortable. This will show your child that they have a voice in expressing their own discomfort, within reason. It additionally gives them the words and means of expressing the source of that discomfort. Oftentimes if a young child is kicking up a fuss over something new or different, their frustration can be exacerbated by their inability to express why they don’t like it. This then creates distress for them which is not conducive to reasoning with them. It is equally frustrating for a child if a parent is unaware of something that is creating discomfort. Straps are too tight, something poking them, a sneaky twisted strap – and they do not know how to effectively communicate what is wrong. 

● It is also important to try and communicate to your child that you make them use a car seat because you love them. Once Teddy is safely strapped in, explain to your child that they’ve been a good “parent” by making sure their “child” is safe. 

● It is additionally important to never frame car seat usage as a punishment. If used as a threat against bad behaviour, or the result of being naughty, it will create a negative relationship in your child’s mind. If they are already suspicious of their car seat, using it as a punishment will reinforce the idea of “Car Seat = Bad”. Rather try and create a positive relationship between your child and their car seat. Rather focus on how it will keep them safe and that being made to use it comes from a place of love and not punishment. 

● Be sure to also praise and thank Teddy for sitting nicely and calmly in their car seat. This will help provide your child with a standard of how they should behave while strapped in. 

This is an exercise that can be repeated throughout their different developmental stages and transitions through different seats. As their understanding grows, you can build on this foundation to better explain why they need to use a car seat. 


As many parents already know, the best way to instil lessons in our children is by framing it as a game – that way they don’t know they’re doing “boring” learning! 

Many TV shows aimed at young kids these days carry an educational message. This allows parents to explain concepts and ideas through characters their children already love. Whether your kids are fans of Paw Patrol, Peppa Pig, Bluey or the like, these shows often already cover the topic of road safety. Some kids may find adopting road safety rules more palatable if they have seen their favourite character do the same,
or if they perceive the lesson as coming from said character.

An episode of Bluey, titled Road Trip, for example, shows Bluey and his sibling strapped into their car seats for a road trip, while dealing with the topic of how to prevent boredom on long drives.

This short Paw Patrol clip covers some basic road safety rules that can help you start the conversation about road safety with your child. 

For primary school-aged kids, creating a game out of spotting different road signs/traffic lights and what they mean will encourage them to develop an awareness of how roads work. This in turn will provide them with the tools to help them understand road safety better and how best to apply those lessons, as they grow older and evermore independent. 

Songs and rhymes can also be an effective way to help children remember rules and lessons. Thankfully the internet is abundant with little songs and rhymes you can teach your child to help them remember. 

If you have any questions regarding this, or want to ensure your car seat is correctly installed, Wheel Well will be doing a Car Seat handout day at SuperQuick in Irene on 30th September 2023. We would love to meet you and your little one and help you make sure they are safe on our roads.



Loadshedding has become a daily part of life in South Africa. With no foreseeable end to this increasingly dire situation, many South Africans have been forced into rethinking how they conduct work, school and life in general with intermittent access to power.

Not only does loadshedding impact just about every area of our lives, but extended hours of loadshedding also contribute towards a less safe way of life. Crime has seen a sharp increase as criminals take advantage of the hours of darkness as a cover for their nefarious activities. This increase includes crimes such as house burglaries, hijackings and cable theft.

Road safety – much like everything else – has taken a severe blow under loadshedding. The lack of traffic lights and streetlights alone has caused the rate of road-related incidents to skyrocket. 

Driving in the dark is already more dangerous than driving during the day due to reduced visibility. The lack of streetlights in affected areas diminish the visibility of the surroundings outside of your vehicle and the robots at intersections are rendered useless without power, slowing the flow of traffic. On top of this already volatile situation, many road users also express frustration at this through their driving, making dangerous conditions that much more unsafe. 

We need to rethink our behavior on the road in order to curtail the potential dangers that loadshedding poses. 


Before we get into specific scenarios pertaining to road safety and loadshedding, it is worth highlighting our “10% Slower” Rule. 

This rule states that for every adverse driving condition, drivers should decrease their speed by 10% per condition as well as an additional 10% if you are driving with children. Adverse driving conditions include low visibility, severe weather conditions, driving near schools, damaged roads, if there has been a collision on the road, and so on. Therefore, if you were driving with your children during loadshedding while it was raining, you would decrease your speed by 30%. Adopting this habit allows you to give yourself enough time to react to a dangerous and unpredictable situation in adverse conditions. 

Never exceed the speed limit when conditions on the road are unsafe as this increases the chance of a collision by greatly reducing the period during which you can react. 


Streetlights and robots are the first obvious casualties of loadshedding in the context of our roads. When driving down an unlit street or road, exercise additional caution by driving slowly. 

Especially in residential areas where there may be pedestrians, cyclists or pets, the low visibility could make it harder for them to notice and therefore predict their behavior. Children and animals are already at higher risk due to their smaller size, which does not allow drivers to see them as easily due to the height of the bonnet of their car. Additionally, they may not notice your vehicle before stepping onto the road. Drive slow enough so that you have time to take in your surroundings and stop to avoid hitting a person or animal.

By the same token, when driving on damaged roads where there may be potholes, drive slow enough that will give you enough time to notice the damage and drive around it to avoid damaging your vehicle. 

Unlit intersections that do not have functioning robots create a potentially hazardous situation, leaving frustrated drivers to navigate them themselves. With the lack of metro police consistently stationed at intersections during loadshedding to help direct the flow of traffic, many drivers take the opportunity to speed through intersections or tailgate vehicles ahead of them to not be delayed by the slowed traffic. During loadshedding, intersections should be treated as stop streets, with the right to go being passed to the left, one row of cars moving into the intersection at a time. Before driving, be sure to check for any vehicles driving out of turn to see who may cause a collision and then proceed with caution. 


Hijackings, kidnappings and “smash & grabs” have been recurring problems for South Africans long before loadshedding began. And under the cover of the darkness that is afforded to criminals under loadshedding, these crimes have become that much more prevalent. 

When stopping your vehicle at an intersection or while parking your vehicle, it is vitally important to be vigilant of suspicious people or vehicles around you. Be especially careful in situations where criminals may try and corner you. This includes times when pulling into your driveway, or when stalled behind traffic at a stop street or intersection as they will use your lack of escape routes against you. 

It is also imperative that vehicle maintenance is kept up to date. Having your vehicle breakdown on the side of the road will make you an extremely easy target for criminals. Keep your vehicle serviced and ensure you are equipped with the necessary tools to deal with a breakdown which includes a spare wheel, breakdown kit, torch & jumper cables, so that if your vehicle does breakdown, you are stopped on the side of the road for as little time as possible. During loadshedding, it is also especially important to wear a reflective vest while attending to a breakdown so that you are visible to passing vehicles. If you see a metro police vehicle, flag them down to assist in keeping you safe while you get your vehicle running again. If a callout is necessary, make the call promptly and avoid leaving your vehicle unattended unless staying with it puts you in danger. 

To avoid drawing the attention of criminals, be sure to pack away any items of value in your car. This includes mobile phones and GPS devices. In the dark, these devices shine brightly to let criminals know you have an item of value in your vehicle and show them exactly where it is. 


As we adjust to life under the increasingly oppressive nature of loadshedding, information and awareness is vital.

Apps exist that easily inform you of the expected loadshedding outages in an area. A great and extremely popular app for tracking loadshedding is the EskomSe Push app. Additionally, the app’s “AskMyStreet” function can be a tool for alerting you and your neighbours to criminal activity in the area. Neighbourhood groups on social media can also keep you in the loop regarding anything suspicious that may be unfolding in your area.

Navigation apps such as Waze and Google Maps are great at showing which routes are congested and if there have been collisions. Although, as mentioned in the previous section, exercise caution when using navigation apps while driving as brightly lit screens will draw the attention of criminals. Rather check your route before driving and then place your device in a concealed space. 

Lastly, it is of utmost importance to remain calm on the roads. Remember that loadshedding affects all of us and misplaced frustration should not be directed at other drivers. Being in a clear and rational state of mind, unclouded by emotions, makes for a safer road for everyone. Anger and aggression only add fuel to an already inflammable situation. Be respectful of all people on the road.

The future of South Africa’s loadshedding problem seems dark, with no long-term solutions on the horizon. Adapting to this unfavourable situation does not mean we have to accept or condone the actions that led us to this point – and nor should we have to. But coming to terms with the reality of the situation and changing our habits to live life around allows us some small degree of control over our own safety and wellbeing.  


“A very important concern we feel that is missing from these goals is one specifically focusing on road safety.”

May 2023 brings us the United Nations & World Health Organization’s 7th Annual Road Safety Week. This year’s focus is on sustainable transport, promoting walking, cycling and the us of public transport. This is tangentially connected to the United  Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Yet, despite poor road safety being the leading cause of death in young people, the United Nations has not highlighted this important topic as a separate goal within its plan.

During the WHO & UN’s Road Safety Week, we wish to appeal to the United Nations to make road safety one of their Sustainable Development Goals. We believe that this is a fundamental human right in the modern age, as well as directly connected to many of the other goals they wish to resolve.


In 2015, the United Nations set out 17 Sustainable Development Goals as part of a 15-year plan. The aim of this was a global call to action against socio-economic and ecological issues such as climate change, inequality, poverty and injustice.

These goals are as follows:
● Goal 1: No Poverty
● Goal 2: Zero Hunger
● Goal 3: Good Health & Well Being
● Goal 4: Quality Education
● Goal 5: Gender Equality
● Goal 6: Clean Water & Sanitation
● Goal 7: Affordable & Clean Energy
● Goal 8: Decent Work & Economic Growth
● Goal 9: Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure
● Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities
● Goal 11: Sustainable Cities & Communities
● Goal 12: Responsible Consumption & Production
● Goal 13: Climate Action
● Goal 14: Life Below Water
● Goal 15: Life on Land
● Goal 16: Peace, Justice & Strong Institutions
● Goal 17: Partnerships

With now less than 7 years remaining to meet these goals by 2030, the UN has called for a more “ambitious global effort”. They have appealed to governments, communities and businesses to mobilize as part of their Decade of Action campaign. From these goals, one can see how many would directly impact the others. Rather than addressing these goals as individual concerns, a complete restructuring and development of socio-economic and ecological systems is required. Each goal contributes to the improvement of the lives of everyone and thus all points should be tackled together due to their synergistic and intertwined nature.

A very important concern we feel that is missing from these goals is one specifically focusing on road safety.


To quote the World Health Organization, “Road traffic injuries are the leading cause of death for children and young adults aged 5–29”. A topical theme behind the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, and many of their campaigns for future development, is the investment in future generations. To provide a better world for the children of tomorrow. Also, the intergenerational “passing of the baton” ensures that these goals continue to evolve as the world continues to change. It then becomes imperative that we counter the greatest threat to young people – greater than disease, natural disaster or famine. This becomes that much more relevant within the context of developing countries. These countries account for 93% of global road-related fatalities.

In developing countries, such as South Africa, socio-economic factors pose a barrier to effective road safety. Many of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals share an intrinsic relationship with road safety. For example, poverty, available, accessible and safe public transport, and lack of quality education all directly contribute to the high rates of road-related injuries and deaths. Addressing the individual goals that contribute to these high rates would certainly lead to a decrease in these numbers. The issue of road safety should be addressed alongside these factors as its own separate goal.

The theme of the UN & WHO’s Global Road Safety Week is #RethinkMobility, which aims to address sustainable transport. They wish to emphasize walking, cycling and public transport. But overlooks the fact that in developing countries, without greater societal or economic reform, these goals feel idealistic.

In South Africa, factors such as poverty, high crime rates and lack of education alongside the drive for sustainable mobility, a push for people to make use of walking or cycling only increases the risk of road-related injuries. In a population of 61 million people, there are an estimated 12 million cars on the road in South Africa. Additionally, the rate of car ownership is currently in decline. This is especially true of younger adults, many of whom simply cannot afford to own and maintain a vehicle. Due to this, there is an increasing number of people who rely on walking, cycling and public transport to get from Point A to

Point B. When people resort to cycling or walking as a means to an end, rather than a conscious social effort, it is often done so in an environment that has not provided support that bolsters road safety measures – whether in the form of education or redesigning infrastructure. This can lead to an increase in the number of road-related injuries.

In South Africa, safe public transport is not widely available, leaving 68% of the country relying heavily on minibus taxi services. While this form of transport is the most widespread and affordable, these services are loosely regulated with many taxi operators not adhering to road safety standards or laws. Minibus taxis, generally with the capacity to legally carry 15 passengers, contribute heavily to cases of major crashes, in which five or more people die in a single crash. In addition to this, a large portion of taxi owners are affiliated with gangs and taxi violence remains a hot topic in South Africa, often putting drivers and passengers at risk of becoming victims of violent crime.


Within the Decade of Action campaign, the UN & WHO have collaborated on a 2030 Global Plan For Road Safety. This plan seeks to improve road safety by addressing several factors. This includes efforts to implement urban planning that is conducive to public transport and pedestrians, safer road infrastructure, higher standards for safe vehicle design, safe road use and improved post-crash response. For developing countries, the plan aims to provide a special focus on low- and middle-income countries, which as highlighted above, is desperately needed. This plan, if actioned efficiently, could contribute to greater overall road safety. The UN & WHO have taken road safety under greater consideration in the past few years. However, this only demonstrates further reason for the inclusion of road safety as a pillar of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Road safety, like many of the Goals listed, shares a link with the other highlighted goals – sometimes as a result of them, other times as a catalyst.

It is impossible to talk about road safety without the inclusion of wider socio-economic factors in the conversation. And to discuss the other goals without observing the impact that they have on road safety only results in turning a blind eye to an enormous risk to the well-being and lives of our young people. The same young people to whom we are entrusting to carry the torch for the future of our planet and global civilisation.


For NGOs and activists fighting for safer roads, including road safety within the Sustainable Development Goals rather than as a separate and isolated concern will allow our fight to be brought to a greater number of people, as it means inclusion in a much larger conversation. If it were framed as one facet of a multi-dimensional greater global problem, improvements in road safety would be further supported through activism aimed at tackling other goals. When engaging local governments and communities, if road safety was to be seen as a fundamental piece of the larger sustainability puzzle, this would give validity to activist campaigns for better road safety. This is especially true in developing countries where road safety might not be considered a high-priority concern on its own. Currently, road safety is ever so lightly touched upon under the UN’s Sustainable Development 11th Goal: Sustainable Cities & Communities. The problem with this is that it prioritises road safety within the context of those living within cities. However, in doing so, it ignores the plight of those living in rural areas – a percentage of the population that is far greater in developing countries. We would argue that these are the communities that would benefit most from improved efforts and awareness relating to road safety.

Sustainable Cities also focuses more on the negative impact of vehicles on the road in terms of pollution, but little addresses the direct impact of lacking road safety itself. In trying to find information on road safety within the Sustainable Development Goals, it should be noted that information on this was incredibly hard to find. This is a recurring problem we often run into when it comes to information regarding road safety. The first step in awareness and education should begin with the availability of information.

Allowing for the topic of road safety to be elevated to the same level of prominence as other pillars of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals will have numerous benefits. For road safety NGOs & activist groups, this would allow for a more accessible transfer of information, a point of reference, and greater awareness. These are fundamental elements when enacting change and securing the necessary funding to facilitate said changes. Furthermore, in order to secure funding from corporate companies as their avenue for Corporate Social Investment, the inclusion of road safety as its own dedicated pillar will allow for NGOs to connect with companies who have a direct interest in road safety. These interests can include logistics, the motoring industry, petroleum and so on. Companies will more likely invest in a cause that is beneficial to them and speaks directly to their needs, but also causes that are regarded with importance on a grander scale in order to be impactful.

For more information on how you can donate to Wheel Well, please contact us here.

7th UN Road Safety Week takes place 15th-21st May 2023.

Car Seat Safety & Childhood Obesity

“Parents ultimately want the same thing for their children, regardless of their size – for them to be safe.” 

The topic of obesity is a divisive conversation, more so when it concerns childhood obesity. There are many contributors to obesity in children, whether it be the result of socio-economic factors, lack of education relating to health and exercise, or else due to physical or mental health struggles. Our aim in talking about this sensitive topic is not to cast judgement. We only wish to highlight what limitations parents may face when looking for a suitable car seat for their bigger child.

It is worth noting that this is not limited exclusively to overweight children. A severely underweight child would face similar struggles. Car seats are designed around the different developmental stages of a child within a certain weight and age range. When a child is larger or smaller than the average weight at that age, parents may feel inclined to use a car seat that will accommodate their size. But this may place them in a seat that is not suitable for the developmental needs of their age. For children who are at a car seat using age, issues relating to obesity are far more prevalent (and on the rise) than cases where a child is underweight.

For this reason, we are focusing predominantly on child obesity in this article. We want to focus on challenges parents may face, as well as how to navigate these challenges. We aim to approach this delicate topic with kindness which is often overlooked when discussing obesity. Parents ultimately want the same thing for their children, regardless of their size – for them to be safe.

Correct Car Seats for Each Developmental Stage.

A happy baby being strapped into a car seat

We recently posted an article on how to choose the correct car seat for your child’s weight, age & stage of development.

To reiterate, there are three main types of car seats: infant, toddler and booster seats. The design of these car seats caters to the needs of a child at specific developmental stages but within certain age and weight ranges.

For example, an infant seat is designed in a way that it is capable of cradling your baby. This would protect their delicate head, spine and pelvis in the event of a car crash. When a child reaches a specific weight or age milestone (whichever occurs first) for their next type of car seat, this is an indicator that they are – generally speaking – ready to transition.

Weight and age as indicators for different stages of child development work for the majority of children. But what if a child is atypical in their size? Whether they are too small, too tall or too large in comparison to other kids their age, this poses several challenges when it comes to car seats. Children who are overweight or obese face the greatest challenges in this regard.

Challenges Regarding Car Seat Safety & Children Who Are Overweight.

We often see parents tempted to prematurely move their children to the next stage of their car seat. This is far more common when a child is bigger than average. Despite their size, they still need the correct protection for their developmental stage. Obesity in children is ever increasing – in the US this accounts for more than a quarter of children. As a result, manufacturers of car seats have started designing car seats that are better able to accommodate larger children.

Challenges parents may face when using a car seat that their child has outsized:

  • Improper restraint:
    Overweight children are likely to outgrow their seats faster than their developmental growth.
    This would result in a child not being restrained in a way that is effectively safe for their developmental stage, leading to an increased chance of injury in a car crash.
  • Discomfort:
    Overweight children restrained in a car seat that they are too large for will experience discomfort. This will make them less inclined to stay safely put in their seat, resulting in them likely trying to wiggle out or else fight against their car seat. Not only is this stressful for both parent and child but if they end up incorrectly positioned in their seat, they will not be safely protected in a car crash. Incorrect positioning in a car seat can increase the severity of the injury.
  • Seat Belt Positioning:
    Seat belt positioning plays a vital role in safely restraining your child in a car crash. Correct
    positioning should allow seat belts to cross a child’s upper body from the shoulder across to the hip, as well as across their lap. Large children may struggle to find a comfortable fit with a seatbelt, resulting in incorrect seat belt positioning.
  • Increased Risk of Injury During Emergency Braking:
    In a car crash, weight plays a huge part in which the force at which a person is thrown forward. In the design of infant car seats, their disproportionately larger heads must be accounted for when considering the momentum of the impact of a car crash. Children who are overweight are thrown with greater force with the impact of a car crash. This means that they are far more susceptible to greater risk of injury, as well as more likely to sustain more severe injuries. It is vitally important that their car seat is capable of keeping them restrained safely in a way that is appropriate and accommodating for their size.
  • Difficulties with Rear-Facing Car Seats:
    Rear-facing a car seat is recommended up until a child is 15 months old. As most car crashes result in forward or sideways impact, a rear-facing car seat provides the necessary support for a young child’s fragile head, neck and spine. For a child who is overweight, rear-facing up until 15 months may not be possible or else may lead to discomfort and agitation. In this scenario, parents may be more inclined towards prematurely transitioning to a forward-facing seat. Yet, transitioning them to a bigger seat too soon would forego the safety measures covered by rear-facing their car seat.

What Are The Solutions?

a crochet toy lamb sitting in a blue car seat

  • Choose A Car Seat That is Suitable for Your Child’s Size:
    The safest car seat is a seat that best accommodates your child at their correct developmental stage. For large children, a standard car seat might not be suitable. Parents are recommended to find a car seat that has a higher upper weight limit.
  • Ensure Seat Belt/Harness Fits Correctly:
    To minimise discomfort and risk of injury, ensure that your child is safely restrained, with a correctly positioned seat belt or harness. The straps should cross the upper body from the shoulder (away from their neck), and across their lap (not their stomach). The straps should securely restrain them without being too tight and causing discomfort.
  • Consistency With Car Seat Usage:
    Children who are overweight may be more inclined towards throwing a fuss about being restrained in a car seat. Larger children are more susceptible to experiencing car seat discomfort. As with all children who initially resist their car seats, consistency is the key to acclimatising them to being restrained. If they are struggling to get used to a seat, especially during transitional phases, it is worth investigating whether they are experiencing extreme discomfort from their car seat. This indicates that they require a seat that will be more accommodating to their body.
  • Proper Car Seat Installation:
    Correct car seat installation is another vital factor in the efficacy of a car seat. It is important for children of every size. Due to children who are obese having greater weight behind their momentum in a car crash, it is additionally important that their car seat is installed according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.
  • Encourage A Healthy Lifestyle:
    More and more families struggle to maintain balance in their lives due to social and economic pressures. When dealing with these struggles, we are often guilty of sacrificing physical and mental health before anything else. It is important that, where physically possible, children are encouraged to eat healthily and have access to regular exercise. Excessive unhealthy/sugary foods and screen time can lead to lifelong health problems. Many children start struggling with obesity before even reaching a school-going age. This has a long-term impact on their physical development.

Car Seats for Bigger Kids!

a chubby baby peaking their head out from under a fluffy blanket

If you feel like your child may require a bigger car seat and don’t know where to start, here are some of our recommendations:

  • Safeway Polar (0-36kg/infant-Booster Group): this car seat is suitable as a hybrid multi-stage car seat across infant, toddler and booster seat stages. It allows for rear-facing up to 18kg. With an internal harness, this seat can be used in the forward-facing position up to 25kg. It can be used as a booster seat till your child in ready for the seatbelt at 1.5m tall.
  • Chicco Sirio 012 Air (0-25kg/Infant-Toddler Group): with the use of a 5-point harness, this car seat is able to accommodate children up to 25kg. It also features soft belt pads and cushioning for additional comfort. Important to note that the seat only rear faces to 13kgs so might not be suitable for bigger kids that are under 15months as they would need to forward face before developmentally ready.
  • BeSafe IZi Plus X1 – Rear Facing (0-25kg/Infant-Toddler Group): For parents who want to rear-face their car seat for as long as they can, this car seat can harness up to 25kg and  is an option for rear facing up to approximately 5 years of age.

For more information on choosing the correct car seat, please refer to our easy-to-read infographics here. If you require assistance with finding a good fit for a larger child or need help with the correct installation, please contact Wheel Well or visit our showroom.

A child reaches into a strangers car. The stranger is holding out candy.

Kidnapping on the rise in South Africa

" times become more desperate, and criminals more bold, any person has the potential to become a victim." 

Daily life in South Africa is becoming increasingly more difficult. On top of the hardships that come with a struggling economy and loadshedding, there is another concern for South Africans to worry about. Kidnapping is on the rise in South Africa.

This follows an alarming trend observed during 2022. An August 2022 article from IOL stated that in 2022 kidnappings increased by 59%, while hijacking was up by 14%. In South Africa, there is a correlation between these two crimes, with 42% of kidnapping cases linked to hijackings. Kidnapping for ransom and extortion only makes up 5% of kidnapping cases in South Africa.

When it comes to crimes of this nature, the belief is that “It won’t happen to me”. But as times become more desperate, and criminals more bold, any person has the potential to become a victim. These days, having something as commonplace as a cell phone on you (and let’s be honest, that’s almost all of us) is enough to pique a kidnapper’s interest.


A woman in distress holds out her hand, as if pushing someone away.

In January 2023, the South African Police Service arrested 6 suspects believed to be part of a kidnapping syndicate in Gauteng. This syndicate is linked to 16 kidnapping cases. Police were thankfully able to rescue a businessman who had been kidnapped by the syndicate. During the arrest, five high performance cars, 20 cellphones and 30 GPS devices were also seized.

In the same month, four suspects from Fordsburg were accused of luring a businessman from India. They kidnapped him and extorted money from his family for his safe return.

With the rise in kidnapping cases, Gauteng is now labeled as a kidnapping hotspot. But the rest of the country does not remain unaffected. In August 2022, a six-year-old boy was kidnapped from his home in Cape Town, which was also only 400m from the Hidayatul Islam Primary School he attended. The young boy was safely returned but this highlights the fact that targets are no longer wealthy businessmen. In fact, the boy was not from a wealthy family – his father worked part-time assisting his ill brother-in-law run his small business.

In all three cases, the victims were fortunate in that they were safely returned to their families. But the scary reality is that there are many cases in which kidnappers did not release their victims, instead killing them once they were done.

Police find themselves scrambling to curtail the number of kidnapping incidents. But with insufficient police resources to stop the increase in cases, this is likely a threat that will remain prevalent for some time. How can individuals take preventative measures to avoid becoming the next kidnapping victim?


1. Be aware of your surroundings
Remain vigilant of any suspicious people or movements around you. If you get the sense of something being amiss, get to a place of safety or leave the area as fast as possible. Avoid distractions such as cellphones or music that may hinder your awareness.

2. Lock your car doors
It is good practice to keep car doors locked at all times, but this is especially important while driving in unknown or high risk areas. Caution should also be exercised at intersections. Criminals may use the stopped flow of traffic to their advantage, using it to limit your chance of escape. At intersections, keep windows rolled up.

3. Complete driver safety training
A driver safety program can help improve driving behavior in order to drive more safely. Some driving programs specifically offer training for hijacking avoidance. This can help drivers identify and avoid potential hijackings, protecting themselves and their families.

4. Change your daily travel routes
Routes taken often, such as routes to work or school, should be varied. This makes it harder for criminals to predict your movements. Taking different routes will also allow for less chance of them becoming familiar with your vehicle.

5. Inform someone of your journey
When walking or driving through unfamiliar or high-risk areas, notify someone of your journey. Let them know when you leave, as well as arrive safely at your destination. Sending a live location notification to someone will also allow them to see your location in real-time. Live location tracking will allow them to notice if something seems out of the ordinary.

2 women talking outside a corporate building. They are wearing warm beige coats.

6. Keep valuables hidden

Any items that may show wealth, even just a cellphone, should be hidden from view so as not to entice criminals.

7. Take caution leaving and entering your property
When entering or leaving your home via garage or electric gate, be vigilant of suspicious people or vehicles in your street. Criminals may block your vehicle or gate, cornering you in your driveway. Never leave garage doors or gates open longer than necessary.

8. Teach children code words
Give your children a code word. If anyone claims to be picking them up from school on your behalf, your children can verify this by asking them for the code word. Children should also be taught not to wander from safe areas, such as leaving school property. If they encounter a person they think is not safe, it is also important that they know to inform an adult as well.

9. Use trusted transportation
Never get into a vehicle of a person you do not know. If making use of an Uber, match the number plates to those stated by the app. Also enquire who they are picking up to verify that they are there for you.

10. Stay informed
With kidnapping on the rise, it is worthwhile to keep up to date on criminal activity. This is especially important in areas considered to be high-risk for kidnapping. Knowing the risks can help you minimise the chance of becoming a victim.

11. Report suspicious activity
If you see or experience something that may indicate a potential kidnapping, inform authorities immediately. If you have been kidnapped or an attempt was made, it is vitally important that it is reported to police. Many kidnapping victims do not go to the police out of fear of the kidnappers. This allows for kidnapping syndicates to continue their operations.

A child reaches into a strangers car. The stranger is holding out candy.

"...the best approach is prevention." 

When it comes to kidnapping, the best approach is prevention. Anyone has the potential to become a kidnapping victim, especially in times where more and more people become desperate under a failing economy. Being aware, taking extra precautions and keeping yourself informed can reduce the chances of you or your family falling victim to these crimes.

Equal Partnership in Parenting: How Fathers Can Step Up to Ensure Car Seat Safety for Their Children

Car seats are an essential tool for parents when it comes to keeping their children safe while traveling in a vehicle. However, the responsibility of ensuring that car seats are correctly installed and used often falls on the mother. This burden can create stress and exhaustion for mothers, who may feel unsupported and overwhelmed. Fathers can step up to the plate and share the responsibility of car seat safety, and here is why and how.

"Fathers can step up to the plate and share the responsibility of car seat safety..." 

Why Fathers Should Step Up:

  1. Equal Partnership: Parenting is a partnership between both parents, and both should share in the responsibilities of caring for their children. By sharing the responsibility of car seat safety, fathers can establish an equal partnership with their partners in raising their children.

  2. Bonding Opportunity: Fathers can use the time spent installing and using car seats to bond with their children. Fathers who are actively involved in their children’s lives, including car seat safety, can form a strong and loving bond with their children.

  3. It’s the Law: Car seat safety is not optional. South African law requires children to be secured in a car seat up to 3 years old, thereafter it is best practice to keep your children safe whilst traveling in a vehicle. By stepping up, fathers can ensure their children’s safety and avoid legal consequences.

How Fathers Can Step Up:

  1. Educate Themselves: Fathers can start by educating themselves on car seat safety. They can read the car seat manual, watch online tutorials, and attend classes on car seat installation and use. This knowledge will enable them to understand the importance of proper installation and usage and give them the confidence to handle it independently.
  2. Take Initiative: Fathers can take the initiative to install and use the car seat. They can take charge of the process and offer to do it themselves, even if their partner has always done it before. This willingness to take charge will make their partner feel supported and valued.
  3. Share the Responsibility: Fathers can share the responsibility of car seat safety with their partner by offering to take turns installing and using the car seat. By doing so, both parents can feel supported and avoid feeling overwhelmed. This can also help fathers gain confidence in car seat safety and become more familiar with the installation process. By sharing the responsibility, fathers can establish a partnership with their partner and demonstrate their commitment to their child’s safety.
  4. Make it a Routine: Fathers can make car seat safety a routine and ensure that the car seat is installed and correctly used every time they travel with their children. By making it a routine, fathers can establish a habit of taking responsibility for car seat safety, making it a part of their regular parenting duties.
  5. Research and Discuss Options: Fathers can research and discuss car seat options with their partners to choose the right one for their child. They can compare features, read reviews, and consider their child’s age, weight, and height to ensure they select the appropriate car seat.
By being involved in the decision-making process, fathers can demonstrate their commitment to
their child’s safety and well-being.

"By being involved in the decision-making process, fathers can demonstrate their commitment to their child's safety and well-being."

2 people leaning on the bonnet of a red car, making a heart with their hands. We are behind them, and they are looking at a sunset over the beach.

Road Safety and Driving Lovingly

"Children see - children do." 

Parents have a duty to set a good example for their children. When we drive lovingly, we instill the message that safety is an expression of our love for them. We communicate this by teaching them road safety rules, but also by consistently upholding high safety standards, ourselves. To drive lovingly is not only to do so on our good parenting days. It is still important on days when our toddler fights against their car seat, when it feels inconvenient, or when your
destination is “just around the corner”.


Family crossing the road. Mom and Dad are on each side of their child, holding their hand and looking for danger as they cross.

Children learn a lot through observation. When we obey the laws and rules of the road – inside of a vehicle and out – we set both a standard and an attitude for our children.

Inconsistency in following rules, as well as the dismissal of them only serves to diminish the importance of these rules. For example, only wearing a seatbelt in some situations and not others undermine the purpose of this rule. This is true for other rules as well. Repetition and consistency of rules in and around vehicles is an effective way of teaching road safety. It minimises the chance that your child will become injured or killed in a road-related incident.

Also, controlling our emotions and the way we react to other drivers on the road is equally important. It sets in place the fundamental building blocks of creating both respect and awareness of others on the road.


Mom sipping hot chocolate with her child in her lap. She is looking at her laptop.

When it comes to ensuring your children are safe, it is important that as parents we are equipped with the correct information. This allows us to make educated decisions relating to our children’s safety on the road. This ranges from familiarity with road safety laws to choosing the correct size car seat.

Many organisations, such as Wheel Well, exist to help parents in becoming informed on the topic of road safety for children. They also offer resources to guide you through aspects of road safety that you had perhaps not even considered.


Nowadays we live in a world that is constantly fighting for our attention in many ways. This is also true while driving. Between mobile phone notifications, setting a route on your GPS or talking to passengers in the car, losing focus for a second could result in a car crash. Distractions while driving are one of the greatest contributors to car crashes.

Texting while driving accounts for almost 25% of all car crashes in South Africa. This is a greater contributor to car crashes than driving drunk. Yet many people are quick to casually dismiss the risk in an age of fast communication.

Drunk driving and driving while fatigued are also huge contributors to car crashes. We are responsible for the passengers whom we carry in our vehicle. Our responsibility to them and other users on the road is to ensure we are in a clear and focused state of mind before getting behind the wheel.


In a tough economy, many people find themselves under immense financial pressure. Many must make adjustments to their lives to try and stretch each paycheck further. It may be tempting to put off vehicle maintenance and tyre changes which often come at a significant cost. But compromising safety should never be an option. This is especially true within the context of road safety, where the consequences can be fatal.

Other drivers may feel that although routine maintenance is due, it may seem that the vehicle could keep going a little bit longer. Yet routine maintenance allows for circumvention and prevention of potential risks or weaknesses. Maintenance stops smaller problems from progressing to bigger, life-threatening problems.


2 people leaning on the bonnet of a red car, making a heart with their hands. We are behind them, and they are looking at a sunset over the beach.

Observing road safety is not just to keep us and our families safe on the roads, but others as well. Defensive driving, with respect for other users on the road, means that all cars can navigate our roads with as few risks as possible.

When driving in residential areas or near schools, it is important to drive at a speed and with awareness of child pedestrians. as well as their often unpredictable nature. With much smaller bodies and impulsive nature, they are less visible on and around roads compared to adults. Extra precautions should be taken when driving in areas where there are children present. Around schools, it is best practice to drive no faster than 30km/hr.

When driving with other children who are not your own, ensure you offer them the same safety precautions as you would your children. Safe driving, while being present and the children correctly restrained. Road safety is a human right that must be afforded to all children.

While we highlight this during February’s “Month of Love”, driving lovingly should be an attitude to adopt for all months. Your children may be too young to understand the whys and hows of road safety.

But our attitudes and behaviours will cement the importance of road safety in their young minds. And a toddler car seat tantrum today is something your child will look back upon in the future. They will know you upheld these standards, set these rules and restrained them in this way because you care for them.

They will know it was out of your love for them.