JOHANNESBURG, Gauteng – Easter is a dangerous time – assuming you’re out on the road with the family for the day or going away on holiday: indeed, over Easter 2018, road fatalities increased by 14% over the previous year.
So, take a few minutes to heed some expert advice before you head out with a car full of Easter eggs – and children.
The Bakwena Toll Concession has told The Corner that peak traffic times will be Thursday, Friday and Monday. They are expecting as many as 2800 vehicles an hour to go through Pumulani (Pretoria-Hammanskraal) and Carousel (Pretoria-Warmbaths) toll plazas during peak times.
Which times are:
N1 northbound and N4 westbound:
Thursday April 18 noon to 9pm
Friday April 19 6am -10am
N1 southbound and N4 eastbound
Monday April 22 10am-9pm
Eugene Herbert, from MasterDrive, suggests avoiding these periods. “More cars on the road increases your chances of encountering reckless drivers, is tiring, and requires greater concentration and even increases your chances of encountering drunk or fatigued drivers or those who have taken drugs.
”Driving in daylight a day earlier or later can help you arrive safely and make the trip less stressful.”
CRASH RESTRAINTS FOR CHILDREN
Easter is also a time when more families are on the road. “Every holiday period we emphasise the importance of strapping in your children. Resist the temptation of letting them sleep on the back seat.”
Should a collision occur, The Corner points out, the car will stop suddenly or even roll: in the first instance the child will continue forwards at the same velocity as the car had been travelling and most likely be killed; in the second they will be thrown around in the cabin of through a window – with, probably, the same dreadful result..
“The impact of the body hitting the front passenger seat,” Herbert adds, ”can violent enough to kill the adult too. For the safety of the child and everyone else in the car, children must wear a seat belt no matter how much they protest.”
RECKLESS DRIVING KILLS
Over Easter 2018 reckless driving, specifically speeding, was why the most drivers were penalised. “Avoiding peak hours will remove the temptation to speed or take risks that frustration can encourage,” Herbert says. ”Yet, not driving recklessly yourself is not enough.
“Watch for other people driving badly or dangerously. If someone else is speeding, move out of their way. Watch for dangerous overtaking and quickly determine the safest reaction. This could mean slowing to give them extra time, or perhaps move onto the hard shoulder to leave space.”
DO NOT react according to your own frustration with threatening driving, fist-waving, or tail-gating. Think first of your passengers – particularly those kids dozing on the back seat.
Then you can have a happy Easter – and get home again safely.
AND PROUD PARENTS PLEASE NOTE: Take down that ‘CHILD IN THE CAR‘ sticker in your rear window UNLESS there actually is. If there is not rescue and fire crews will waste valuable time searching in and under your car and the area around it for an injured (or dead) youngster.
It is NOT meant to announce your superior fecundity. Keep the sign in the car along with a sucker sticker and attach to a window only when THERE IS a kiddie in the car.