We’re at the end of 2014 already and most of us are hitting the open road to melt into the long-awaited end-or-year oblivion. Yet, as we all get pretty laid back in our approach to the holidays there is one place you need to be vigilant and that is on the roads.
There have already been a number of deaths across SA’s roads already - read the latest report here.
To hardcode a degree of sensibility into your brain the total number of road deaths for last year’s festive period was 1 376 people, according to a report released by transport minister Dipuo Peters
With that said, here’s a list of safety tips to apply before and during the holiday journey. And if you’d like to share your holiday tips or experiences with us – email email@example.com or come join our travel community on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram accounts.
Festive Season Road Safety Tips:
- If you’re planning a road trip make sure your car is roadworthy and get it serviced to avoid any unwanted road-side situations. This also means checking the obvious stuff like having a container of water in the boot and that your sparewheel is in working order.
- Drinking? Make sure your group has a designated driver as alcohol severely impairs your driving ability and is often the key factor for the increase in festive season accidents.
- Be courteous on the road. Rather give way and practice caution by not overtaking on blind spots or barrier lines. This can go a long way to ensuring you and your family stay safe, since you cannot vouch for somebody else’s driving abilities.
- Buckle up. Enough said.
- Use your headlights during the day to increase your visibility.
- Most people forget that texting or talking on your cellphone is actually a criminal offence. Yes, we’re talking to you the driver of the car straddling lanes, swerving all over the place, driving ridiculously slow and almost hitting the motorcyclist. Just don’t do it.
- Stick to the speed limit. Enjoy the journey and arrive alive at your intended destination.
- With that said, make sure you don’t overextend yourself while driving. It helps if you have a tag driver to share some of the load with you. If you have to do all the driving yourself, make regular stops as being overtired, impairs your ability as much as alcohol does.
- Be aware of weather forecasts, visibility impaired during bad weather while thunderstorms, hail or flash flooding can also be detrimental.
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- Pre-program useful apps and contacts numbers such the www.aa.co.za or ER24 - their Emergency Contact Centre can be reached 24 hours a day on 084 124.