Learn to be safe on our roads in the dark
South Africa is a truly beautiful nation; unfortunately, our roads are not a reflection of this. In fact, from potholes to drunk drivers, we are one of the most dangerous driving nations in the world. Last year alone, we saw 12,436 deaths on our roads, with 55% of these happening at night.
You, or a friend of yours, may be afraid of driving at night, but you can overcome your fear by becoming familiar with your own and your car's capabilities. Volkswagen's advanced driving arm recognises the dangers associated with driving at night and has devised a closer representation of its already popular safety course. The focus now shifts to improving drivers' awareness and ability at night, not necessarily learning how to drive fast. You will get to test out the different safety features in your car in different environments and build muscle memory to be used on the roads if and when you need it.
Our experience was a shortened version of the course, which included a theory briefing, braking awareness, drunk-driving simulation, and on-track exercises to experience different situations during the night. Drivers looking to sharpen their skills are able to experience the perils of driving at night in a controlled environment with the help of the capable and engaging staff. Then there's the night driving aspect on the Zwartkops racecourse... Needless to say it's also a lot of fun.
At the moment, the course price hasn’t been announced, but I can assume it will be around the same price as the safety course at R3,800. It is a great course for all drivers, with a focus on less confident and new drivers.
I think this course is a brilliant addition to the academy and touches on a topic that could greatly benefit our road users. While it's true that we can't influence how other drivers behave, it's in everyone's best interest to become the safest possible driver for themselves, their passengers, and other motorists.
The course, which officially launches on November 1, includes both a theoretical foundation and hands-on practice to help you get to know your vehicle and the many potential hazards you face on the road at night.