9 Safety Travelling Tips For The Easter Holidays
With Easter around the corner, millions of South Africans are expected to hit the road to visit family, take time off, attend gatherings and partake in other holiday associated activities. So we’ve compiled a list of nine safety tips to help make your journey a safer one for you and everyone around you.
1. Plan Your Route(s)
Before you hit the road, make sure that you’ve taken the time to map out your preferred routes of travel. Although GPS mobile apps play a great deal in helping us out these days, it’s always a good idea to know which routes you’ll be using in the event you lose signal or signs aren’t visible. Planning your routes is also a good way to reduce travel time as there’s a decreased need to stop and ask for directions.
2. Complete A Comprehensive Vehicle Inspection
Now when we say comprehensive, we mean down to the minute detail. Beyond the common checking of petrol, tires and oil, make sure that you check items such as seatbelts and whether they are working, headlights, battery, first aid kits, wipers, spare tire, tail-lights, and so forth. It’s recommended that you start with an exterior inspection then move inwards.
3. Hydrate And Take Frequent Snack Breaks
If you’re road trip this Easter will be longer than three hours, make sure that you frequently stop every 2 hours or so to take a breather and stretch. This is really good to help you regain concentration and alertness. Also, make sure that you keep yourself hydrated with water or energy drinks and chew on something not only to keep you fueled but to keep you awake.
4. Don’t Drink And Drive…(And Text And Drive)
Whilst this is the oldest tip of all, it’s still the most important. Whether or not you are driving with children, never drink and drive for your safety and others. And while texting and driving is a relatively new offense, it's equally as dangerous. According to StatsSA, texting and driving increase your chances of a collision by more than 20 times.
5. Make A Buddy Driving System
Putting the driving responsibilities on one driver for long periods can be exhausting for them and potentially harmful as concentration levels spike. Decrease the risks of sleeping and other fatigue-related occurrences by frequently switching drivers every 2 to 3 hours. The more passengers with drivers licenses the better!
6. Wear Seatbelts
Another old yet surprisingly overlooked cautionary rule. It’s important that every person that occupies a seat is strapped behind a seatbelt for their safety. Never travel in a car where the number of seatbelts is less than the number of people. Statistics show that critical injuries are reduced by as much as 60% when wearing a seatbelt.
7. Consider Off-Peak Road Trips
If you’re hitting the road this Easter, consider taking the vast majority of road trips during times when traffic is not congested. With churches such as the ZCC and families hitting the roads during the afternoons, it can be a good idea to drive anywhere between the hours of 23h00 and 06h00 when roads are less busy.
8. Keep To The Speed Limits
When holidays such as Easter come around in South Africa, Metro Police swarm the streets with speed guns looking to catch out reckless drivers. By keeping to the speed limits, not only do you decrease your chances of a collision, but you reduce your odds of receiving unwanted speeding tickets.
9. Keep Calm And Relax
Last but not least...keep calm and relax. Easter weekend might be a time for family, but it’s also a time for road rage and brash decisions. Thousands of drivers will be in a rush to get to their destinations and this can lead to anxiety, impatience and intolerance when on the road. Always keep a level head even when confronted with a testing situation as this could be the difference between a safe journey and a halted one. Remember to be courteous and considerate of other drivers, and if someone cuts you off or keeps hooting, let them pass.