driving tips, Motoring News, road safety

Still to head for coast or park? Take five to read this…

JOHANNESBURG, Gauteng – The Easter school holidays are already upon us and many families are heading back and forth across and up and down South Africa so The Corner would like to pass on these six suggestions for safer journeying.

Work…

…it’s what’s needed to reach your destination – and, of course, for the return journey.

MasterDrive’s MD Eugene Herbert: “Make sure your service book is up-to-date, windscreen wipers have not degraded and the water reservoir is filled, tyres are not worn to their limit and are correctly inflated (remember the spare!)

Way…

…to go. Familiarise yourself with your route before heading off. Herbert again: “Pay attention to collision hotspots; plan where you will stop for a break, refreshments and a fuel top-up. Once your route is sorted, stick to it.”

Watch…

Drive conservatively and defensively no matter how long the journey might be taking. Pay attention to other vehicles (including those approaching!), particularly any reckless behavour. If you believe another driver is about to be stupid, hang back – don’t flash your lights or blow your horn – either or both could prove an aggravation.

Scan each side of the road for pedestrians and animals. About 40% of road deaths are pedestrians – one coming through your windscreen could kill you, too. Be extra alert when approaching habitation – particularly townships for protests, rocks or logs on the road, clusters of people.

Wait

…and get a good night’s sleep before leaving home. Driver fatigue, Herbert says, is becoming as dangerous as drunk-driving. Take a break, get some fresh air, park and walk around for 10 minutes if you feel sleepy.

“Many people prefer to drive at night (when roads will be quieter and the kids will sleep on the back seat (wearing at least a lap crash mitigation belt). Others argue that daylight driving is safer.”

Water

…will keep you hydrated and nourished. “Take time to pack plenty of healthy snacks and water,” Herbert advises. ”This will help to maintain concentration and avoid the ‘energy crash’ that often follows unhealthy foods and sugary drinks.”

Heading home…

…can be as dangerous as getting there so plan the trip as comprehensively as you were outbound. Herbert for the final comment: ”Avoid trying to rush, don’t take risks. There can be no better end to a trip than arriving home refreshed, de-stressed and – above all – safe.”

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