EASTER is one of the busiest and most dangerous travel periods on our roads.
The onus is on all of us to take responsibility for our own actions and become safer road users.
Below is list of safety tips, which can keep us all safe, as we travel over the Easter weekend.
The seatbelt is your first line of defence in any crash, and its life-saving benefits have been proven time and again. If you’re sitting in the front or back of the vehicle, and it’s moving, and even if it has airbags, buckle up. There’s no simpler way to put it.
You’ll still get to your destination if you give way to other motorists and act in the same way as you would when holding open a door for someone. In fact you’ll stand a much better chance of getting to your destination. Avoid stress, chill out and enjoy the ride. Listen to your favourite music or to an audio book, or play ‘I spy with my little eye’.
Stick to the rules
Don’t upset other motorists. Adhere to the rules, which include keeping left on the freeway at all times, except for when you’re overtaking. Few things cause as much road tension as vehicles driving slowly in the overtaking lane; refusing to move over when there’s space on the left.
• Check your mirrors before changing lanes, and indicate well in advance. Why risk upsetting another driver by cutting in front of them, when you can wait a couple more seconds and change lanes safely?
• Don’t overtake where you can’t clearly see. Yes, it sucks to be stuck behind a smoke-belching, slow-moving truck but don’t risk overtaking on a blind rise or in a tight corner just because you’re frustrated. There will be a gap ahead, promise.
• Keep a safe following distance of at least two seconds. Increase it when it rains or during reduced visibility.
• Don’t speed. Stupid or inconsiderate driving are the main causes of accidents, but speed exacerbates the effects, making the thump that much harder. In any case the national routes are littered with speed traps, especially during the holidays.
• Don’t drink and drive. Apart from the risk to yourself and other road users, getting caught will land you in a police cell.
Avoid the stress of choked-up holiday routes, by heading out before the masses do. It’s more than worth the early wake-up call.
Take a break
If you start getting sleepy behind the
wheel, switch drivers. If this isn’t an option, a five-minute pit stop at the next garage should perk you up.
Ensure your vehicle is roadworthy
Do a simple home test to check that the headlights, indicators, tail lights and wipers are in working order, and that the tyres have enough tread and the pressures are right (including the spare).
Around half of all road fatalities are pedestrians. If you are on foot, always triple check that it’s safe to cross, and never try to cross a freeway. Don’t drink and walk.
– Adapted from iol.co.za
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015