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News Article : Flooding and Tyre Safety
Category: Short-Term Insurance : Motor Vehicle
Author:Edited by ITInews
Email:[email protected]
Posted:22 Feb 2011

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What does this mean for car owners?

The South African government estimates that the damage caused by the unprecedented flooding occurring across the country over the past two months could well run into hundreds of millions of rands.

The rains are predicted to continue through till March, causing further damage to public infrastructure such as roads, buildings and bridges.

Private property owners have also been left with extremely high costs as a result of flood damage.

What does this mean for car owners?

Bad weather obviously increases the potential for damages to your motor vehicle, including damage resulting from road accidents.

Motorists who have comprehensive car insurance which includes cover against extreme weather conditions such as hail, hurricane, storms and flooding, can rest in the comfort of knowing their insurance will cover damages related to these events.

Comprehensive car insurance does not, however, mean that motorists should take unnecessary risk when driving.

A recent ruling by the Insurance Ombudsman ruled in favour of the Insurer in a case where a motorist did not apply due care and precaution when crossing a low lying bridge which had been flooded at the time.

Extra precaution should be taken to avoid areas where damage could be incurred whilst driving.

There are some instances where insurance claims can be repudiated in the event of an accident even if you have comprehensive cover.

Tyre care for example becomes increasingly important for this reason, especially when driving in wet weather.

In this feature, Absa idirect brings you three easy to remember tyre safety tips to help you avoid accidents that result from poor tyre maintenance:

  1. Avoid worn out tyres by ensuring that your tyre thread remains at a depth of more than 1mm as is legally required. It is safer to maintain a thread depth of over 3mm. Worn tyres, especially in cases where they are smooth, can be deadly on wet roads because the tyre treads or "grooves" are not deep enough to channel water out. The result is aquaplaning, where the thread skims the water's surface and the vehicle no longer responds to the steering wheel.
  2. Always check your tyre pressure at least every two weeks. The recommended tyre pressure for your car can be found in your manual or mounted somewhere in your car, usually the driver's car door. It is advisable to always check tyre press when your tyres are cold. Tyres that are not properly inflated are also a driving hazard that becomes magnified by wet road conditions.
  3. Lastly, don't forget to check for lumps, bulges, cuts or cracking on your tyres on a regular basis. If you are in doubt as to the condition of your tyres, visit your nearest tyre dealer for assistance. 

Daily wear and tear on your tyres is to be expected. It is your responsibility to ensure that your tyres are always kept in the best possible condition especially in wet weather conditions - for your safety and that of other road users.

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