In the 2018/2019 festive season, approximately 1286 accidents were recorded resulting in approximately 1612 fatalities. As we enter the festive season, millions of people everywhere are preparing to travel, visit friends and family to celebrate, and the majority of holiday travelers will be driving. With traffic volumes increasing tremendously, here are a few safety tips to take with you on the road which will assist in keeping your family safe this festive season.
- Get your vehicle road-ready: Check your vehicle fluid levels, battery, tyre pressure and condition and ensure you fuel up before starting your trip. To avoid common trouble and being stuck on the side of the road, bring your car in for an inspection and any necessary maintenance, All lights and indicators, windscreens, windscreen wipers, brakes, steering, shock absorbers, exhaust system and tires should be carefully examined for faults.
- Make sure that you have the necessary tools for any sort of emergency you can expect on the road, such as a spare tyre, carjack, and jumper cables.
- Have your license with you at all times and ensure that isn’t expired, and will be valid throughout your holiday trip to avoid facing hefty fines.
- Be prepared for any other unexpected emergencies such as a medical issue, by keeping a stash of emergency supplies in your vehicle. Your supplies should include, but not be limited to a torch, a first-aid kit, basic hand tools, a phone charger and bottled water.
- Make frequent rest stops. Summer heat can be draining for a driver, especially on a long road trip. A stop for a few minutes every few hours can really boost your levels and keep you alert on the road.
- Plan the drive ahead of time, and know alternate routes. Extensive planning ensures that you are prepared for whatever might happen during your trip. It is important to know your routes as well as any possible alternate routes to feel confident about where you are going should you hit any unexpected situations the require a detour.
- Avoid Distractions. Don’t be distracted while driving. Texting, eating, drinking, talking to back seat passengers is extremely dangerous. Driving requires your full attention. When you’re able to do so safely, pull off to the side of the road or locate your nearest stop in order to pursue tasks that will divert your attention from the road.
- Drive defensively. Be wary of drivers around you and keep an eye out for drivers who may be distracted or under the influence of alcohol. It is important to give yourself plenty of space between other cars on the road and avoid sudden stops.
- Don’t drink and drive. Use a cab, ride-sharing service, or have a sober designated driver get you home.
- Be patient, Driving too fast or too slow can be a hazard. Always account for extra driving time into your travel plans, and never speed to make up lost time. It is important to have patience while on the road as it helps ensure your safe arrival at your destination.
- Keep a safe following distance so that you have enough time to react. Your following distance should be increased when visibility is poor.
- Have emergency numbers easily available at all times:
10111 – National Flying Squad
086 001 0111 – Report a Crime
031 361 0000 – Emergency: Metro Police & Metro Fire
10177 – Ambulance
031 361 0000: Fire and Disaster Management
080 000 5133 – Mountain Rescue
031 361 8567 – Sea Rescue
Storm water, Burst Mains, Water Pollution and Sewer Faults:
080 131 3013 – 24 hour Faults, replace manhole covers & water pollution complaints
083 707 3013 – 24 hour Faults (SMS only)
13. If you’re in an accident, first make sure no one in the car is injured. Next, check on the passengers in the other vehicle, pedestrians and anyone else nearby to make sure they’re okay, contact the police immediately, contact your insurance provider and stay calm and patient while help arrives.
The festive period doesn’t have to be a dangerous time to travel. Follow these safety tips and have a splendid, stress-free holiday. Wishing you and your family safe travels! Have Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.