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LET’S BRAKE IT DOWN: DISC VS DRUM S.A Vehicles

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LET’S BRAKE IT DOWN: DISC VS DRUM

LET’S BRAKE IT DOWN: DISC VS DRUM-Advertising Mobility-Online South Africa - Blog Marizanne VD Linde
https://www.tradeyourvehicle.co.za

Braking technology has come a very long way since the hand lever. Drum brakes were revolutionary in their time, but are they still appropriate for modern cars when disc brakes seem so perfect? Read on to find out.

How Do Brakes Work?

Braking a car means slowing down the movement of the wheels by stepping on the brake pedal. Your braking system, drum or disc, applies friction or resistance to your wheels that gets converted into heat energy. The way your brakes do this is the main illustration of how disc and drum brakes differ.

Drum Brakes

Drum brakes are called this because of the drum design that houses the braking components. Inside the drum, you’ll find braking shoes. When you step on your brake pedal (which is connected to the braking system with fluid), these heat-resistant shoes are forced against the wheel to create friction to slow them down. The problem with drum brakes though, is that the heat that builds up due to the friction has nowhere to go. Heat builds up inside the drum and under stressful or strenuous conditions (like carrying a large load or going down a steep hill), this becomes a problem. Brakes are only effective as long as they can convert movement into heat, and when the brakes become worn down, they become saturated with heat and end up ineffective. Let’s face it, you don’t want your brakes failing as you come down a steep hill while carrying a heavy load. This problem of overheating and deterioration is solved with disc brakes.

Disc Brakes

Disc brakes are made up of a small rotor and a calliper. Inside this calliper, you’ll find two brake pads that go around the rotor. When you step on the brake pedal, these pads are clamped together to slow down the wheels. The main difference between drum and disc brakes is what happens to the heat energy that’s generated by the friction in the braking system. Thanks to not being housed in a drum, your disc braking system is very unlikely to overheat. This is because it is exposed to open air that cools the brakes much faster than they would have been cooled inside a drum. This also reduces the rate of deterioration and fading. Instead of having to replace the entire braking system, you can simply replace your brake pads instead.

Shouldn’t All Cars Have Disc Brakes?

Ideally, sure. Disc brakes are more effective and practical. But they’re also more expensive. Disc brakes were first used on high performance racing cars and eventually became popular with modern, everyday cars thanks to their safety. Many cars today have disc brakes in the front two wheels (because most of the stopping power comes from the front), and drum brakes at the back. This means that the car should be slightly more affordable than it would have been with disc brakes all around. However, this doesn’t mean that your back wheels’ brakes are ineffective or dangerous. Modern drum brakes have come a very long way and would probably by suitable for all four wheels. If you’re someone who just drives their car as a means to get from A to B, you’ll be perfectly safe. if you’re a race car driver, you’ll need a high-performance car with high-performance brakes to optimise your performance.

Regardless of which brakes you use, you should make sure to maintain them properly. Maintaining your brakes (a topic we’ll cover in another article) not only keeps you and others safe on the roads, but it will also save you a fortune in the long-run.
Let us know what you thought of our article in the comments below. If you would like to contribute an article or write a review, let us know! We’d love to work with you. Alternatively, you can contact us at www.mobility-online.co.za. Stay safe on the roads!

BMW Midrand

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Driving with a Disability: Overcoming the Impossible

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Learning how to drive is stressful for almost everyone. Imagine that you’re on a busy road and you’ve stalled your car four times already. The drivers behind you are getting impatient, despite the fact that they were once where you are now. Now imagine the same situation, but as someone who has a disability.

People who have disabilities face challenges that many couldn’t even imagine. Things that seem simple to able-bodied people can become almost impossible on a good day. One of these things that are sometimes taken for granted, is driving.

Being able to drive yourself is a luxury that countless teens dream of. They count down the days until they can take their driving test and finally have the freedom to decide where they want to go (with their parents’ permission, of course). For others, this opportunity only presents itself much later in life due to their circumstances. Regardless of when you learn how to drive, being able to get yourself from point A to B without too much assistance is a milestone to be proud of.

Fortunately, this is now a possibility for almost anyone. Thanks to vehicle modifications, specialized licences, and intensive driving lessons, people with certain disabilities can drive just as well as (or, in some cases, better than) everyone else.

People with Physical Disabilities 

Physical disabilities can include different degrees of affected mobility, stamina or dexterity. Some people might need wheelchairs, crutches or other mobility aids. In this case, a person’s driving ability depends on their degree of mobility. People with physical disabilities can make use of organisations like QASAs Driving Ambitions (that specializes in driving lessons) to help them decide on what best suits their needs. Driving Ambitions “[accommodates] many different types of disabilities, including quadriplegics, paraplegics, strokes, amputees, cerebral palsy”. Each case is dealt with individually and a representative assesses a client’s abilities in advance.

Some of the many resources available while taking driving lessons at Driving Ambitions are:

  • Space Drive systems
  • Electronic brake and acceleration systems
  • Wheelchair accessible vehicles
  • Push Button Controls

People Who Suffer from Hearing Loss

It’s a common misconception that people who are hard of hearing can’t drive. Some studies have found that they actually drive better than hearing drivers because of their heightened sense of vision. Driving is a primarily visual activity and being able to process visual cues is imperative.

Some of the vehicle modifications that can be used for people with hearing loss are:

  • Devices that indicate when emergency vehicles are nearby. These devices can often detect when other drivers use their horns.
  • Panoramic mirrors that enhance visibility.
  • Panels of different indicators that detect nearby sounds and show on screen notifications.

 

People with Intellectual Disabilities

Intellectual disabilities include Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), Down’s Syndrome and Fragile X Syndrome (FXS) and others. People who have intellectual disabilities are all very different and there is no hard and fast rule to determine whether they are fit to drive or not.

That being said, if they’re able to take and pass their theory and practical tests, they will be allowed to drive just like anyone else.

 

How do I know if I’m fit to drive?

You are fit to drive if you do not suffer from one of these diseases or disabilities (taken from Chapter 4 of the Road traffic Act):

  1. Uncontrolled epilepsy
  2. Sudden attacks of disabling giddiness or fainting due to hypertension or any other cause
  3. Any form of mental illness to such an extent that it is necessary that he or she be detained, supervised, controlled and treated as a patient in terms of the Mental Health Act, 1973 (Act No. 18 of 1973)
  4. Any condition causing muscular in-coordination
  5. Uncontrolled diabetes mellitus
  6. Defective vision ascertained in accordance with a prescribed standard
  7. (vii) any other disease or physical defect which is likely to render him or her incapable of effectively driving and controlling a motor vehicle of the class to which such licence relates without endangering the safety of the public: Provided that deafness shall not of itself be deemed to be such a defect