Ten tips for travelling safe this Easter
With Easter just around the corner, people are getting ready to go away for the holiday. However, this is also a when people are reckless on the roads, and the death toll increases. Moneybags journalist Jessica Wood looks at ten ways you can improve your road safety over this holiday season.
According to a press release from Discovery Insure, Dipuo Peters, Minister of Transport, said: “We encourage motorists to take the necessary precautions and use the information on driving trends at their disposal to improve their driving behaviour and to ensure that they safely reach their destinations over the upcoming Easter weekend.”
According to Discovery Insure, there are an average of 200 road deaths over the Easter holiday period every year.
Results released by Discovery Insure reveal that as holiday-makers are driving long distances to get to their holiday destination, they are at a higher “risk of being involved in an accident.”
Anton Ossip, Discovery Insure Executive Director, noted: “Improving driver behaviour is critical to reducing South Africa’s very high road accident and accident fatality rate. In line with our aim to achieve long-term positive behaviour change in driving habits, this latest research provides evidence-based tips for drivers to proactively amend their behaviour behind the wheel. It is about each of us taking responsibility and being proactive in improving the way we drive.”
Tips for safe travel
Discovery Insure and Imperial Auto offer several tips and guidelines to help you travel safe this Easter.
- Avoid leaving on a Friday: According to Discovery Insure, the roads on a Friday are 15% busier, and people drive worse, therefore increasing your chances of being involved in an accident.
- Plan ahead: Imperial Auto highlight the importance of mapping out your route ahead of time and ensuring that you take enough time to reach your destination without speeding.
- Complete a vehicle safety check before you leave: It is important to make sure that your vehicle is in perfect working order as, according to Discovery Insure, it reduces your chance of an accident by 15%. Imperial Auto adds that it is important to have your vehicle serviced before a long trip.
- Avoid driving at night: Discovery Insure states that driving between 10pm and 4am increases your chance for an accident by 10 times compared to any other time during the day.
- Don’t talk on your cell phone while driving: According to Imperial Auto, “Even if you are using a hands-free device, try to avoid taking or making calls while driving. Even the smallest distraction from the road can prevent you from making quick, life-saving choices to avoid a potential accident.”
- Take breaks often: Both Discovery Insure and Imperial Auto highlight the importance of taking regular breaks to ensure that you remain alert and vigilant while driving.
- Be aware of your surroundings: Sometimes it in not you, but the other people on the road that you need to watch out for, as well as being aware of all traffic signs. Imperial Auto said: “Continually be aware of upcoming intersections or decision points. Being able to spot a traffic sign early allows you to make these decisions timeously to prevent disasters.”
- Keep a safe following distance: By maintaining a safe following distance you have time to react to anything that happens ahead of you in the road. Imperial Auto suggests following the three-second rule to make sure you have enough time. “Pick a landmark like a sign or tree on the road ahead and when the vehicle in front of you passes it, start counting one one-thousand, two one-thousand, three one-thousand … If you reach the landmark before you count to three, you are following the car ahead of you too closely.” However, this distance should be increased at night and during bad weather.
- Obey the speed limit and always signal: Rather than speeding to get to your destination, allow yourself more time for the journey. Not only does it increase your safety, but the safety of the people around you as well. Imperial Auto also notes that you should signal at least five to eight seconds before turning or changing lanes to give the people around you time to react.
- Don’t drink and drive: Perhaps the most important point, Imperial Auto stresses the importance of driving dry.
It is important that you and your family arrive alive this Easter. Use these ten tips to make sure that you and your family are kept safe on the roads, as well as everyone else who is driving too. It only take a split second for an accident to happen.