Road safety: Take some time to consider these tips
Your car is packed, the tank is full and you're finally ready to hit the road. As the kilometres gradually distance you from work, stress and all your responsibilities, it sinks in: you are officially on holiday!
Heed the following tips to help keep you and your family safe on the roads and to ensure that you reach your holiday destination without incident:
Check that your driver's licence as well as all your vehicle's licensing and registration documentation is in order. Ensure that your vehicle's licence disk is displayed clearly on the windscreen, and that your driver's licence is always at hand.
Make sure that your luggage is packed away securely - preferably in your vehicle's boot compartment - and that there are no loose items lying around inside the vehicle.
Wear your safety belt at all times, and insist that all your passengers do the same.
Do not speed or exceed the speed limit.
Maintain a safe following distance at all times.
Do not drink and drive under any circumstances.
Take a break or rotate drivers every 3-4 hours during long journeys.
It is a good idea to stop at roadside petrol stations during these breaks. While the petrol attendant refills your tank and checks your oil and tyres, you and your family can use the time to visit the restrooms and stock up on snacks and refreshments.
Play games such as “I spy with my little eye”, “20 questions” and “car cricket” to stay alert and keep the children entertained.
Be tolerant of and considerate to other road users.
Always signal your intentions clearly and timeously, such as when indicating to change lanes.
Pay careful attention to changing weather conditions and the road surface; slow down if the road is wet.
Avoid talking on your cell phone while driving; it might be a good idea to invest in a hands-free set.
Be prepared for anything. Think about how you would react in a range of unfavourable situations such as a car swerving in front of your vehicle, a pedestrian stepping into your way or the truck in front of you losing its load. These are not pleasant thoughts, but they could potentially save your life.
Keep a first-aid kit in your vehicle; it could come in very handy in the event of an accident. Ensure that the kit contains a pair of latex gloves - you should always wear gloves when helping the victims of accidents.
Considering the escalating incidents of fatal car crashes and road fatalities on the South African roads - especially during holiday seasons - it is crucial to heed every safety precaution in order to protect yourself and your family. Drive safely and enjoy your holiday!