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Being able to parallel-park doesn’t mean you can drive!


A FEW weeks ago something rather terrible happened in my area, well, in Middelburg to be exact. There was an accident, if you can call it that. Sure these things happen every day however this particular one was different and it has been bothering me ever since I read about it. Let me tell you why.

On Friday a 39-year-old man (whose name I shall not mention) took delivery of his brand-new Volkswagen Golf R, a car with many performance talents, which I’ve been fortunate enough to explore. Reports suggest that he collected his car late in the afternoon. I’m pretty sure he was very happy with his achievement and couldn’t wait to show his car off, which he reportedly did. The unfortunate thing is… this would lead to his death.

A few hours after he took delivery of his new Golf R, he, along with his son and three of the neighbour’s children were involved in a horrific crash. I refrain from using the word accident as I will explain later.

The driver of the Golf R offered his son and three of the neighbour’s children a drive in the car. On route, the driver happened to drive along one of the main roads going out of Middelburg. This particular road has a rather tight corner and this is where things went wrong.

The driver, according to his son who is now paralyzed from the waist down, reached a speed of 180km/h just before the corner. He lost control of the vehicle and collided with a tree, splitting the car in half and killing not only himself, but the neighbour’s three young children as well. His son, who is currently in hospital, might not make it due to severe internal bleeding. My heart goes out to the families involved.

Ok, so why does this particular crash pull so heavy on my heart? Well I strongly believe that it could have been avoided. How - you might ask?

I strongly believe that when people purchase a high performance car they should attend a compulsory advanced driving test to determine whether or not they’re capable of handling and understanding the car they’re buying. Being able to parallel park doesn’t mean you can drive!

The fact that this guy managed to spit his car in half a few hours after driving it off the showroom floor proves to me that he did not know the car; he did not understand the rate at which it accelerates.

The fact that he entered the corner at over 180kph is a clear indication he had no idea what he was doing. The road’s speed limit is 60km/h and yes, one car can go around the corner (bend) at a much higher speed, provided you take a ‘racing line’ and cut through the corner. Remember, this is a Golf R, it has all-wheel-drive, which gives extra grip. However, that will only work if you know what you’re doing. I suspect that the driver did not follow the racing line and decided to stay within his lane, which tightens up. This caused him to understeer into the tree, which split the car.

This was no accident; an accident is an unfortunate incident that happens unexpectedly and unintentionally, typically resulting in damage or injury. He intentionally entered that corner at a high speed with four innocent children in the car, and for what?

When will motoring companies stop selling vehicles that demand respect and responsibility to disrespectful, irresponsible people? I’m not saying this guy did this on purpose but would this have happened if he had a better understanding of what he was doing and about the dangers involved?

What are your thoughts? Do you feel there should be more stringent procedures involved when selling high-performance cars to the general public?

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Article written by Justin Jacobs
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