Travelling safely on the road this festive season

In South Africa, the holiday season is fun and joyous. It is crucial to keep in mind to stay secure in every country. There are lots of holiday safety recommendations for South Africa that will make your season safer and more enjoyable.It is quite easy to forget the fundamental holiday safety advice if you have lived in South Africa for some time. These safety recommendations for South Africa should be used and taken into account whether you are a tourist or visiting the country for the first time. These are centered on South Africa’s holiday season, although they should be used all year long.

Many of people are getting ready for a well-deserved rest and the possibility of a much-anticipated vacation as the Christmas season draws near. Whether you’re vacationing close to home or farther abroad, setting off on these holidays typically entails long hours spent in a car. It implies that you put yourself in danger from opportunistic crooks and from accidents on the road.

Make sure your car is safe before travelling

The most important thing is to make sure your car is safe and prepared for a lengthy trip. Send your car in for a service before a trip, and make sure the water and oil levels have been checked, as well as other system functions like the brakes and tires, that have been examined and are in good operating order.

Make sure all of your maintenance is updated. The following car inspections are included: coolant, tyre condition and pressure, and any other upkeep that may have been lately overlooked. Even under the best of circumstances, a breakdown is stressful, but it is made even worse when you are hundreds of kilometers from home and have a carload of children with you. For further security, go to a shop that provides free safety checks.

Drive defensively

It goes without saying that you should prepare for the unexpected while driving. There is always a potential that another driver will put your life in danger by driving carelessly, even if you are following the rules and acting responsibly. Therefore, it is crucial to practice defensive driving:

  • Keep a safe following distance
  • Yield to other vehicles
  • Stay focused
  • Refrain from road rage

Drive predictably

It should go without saying that your own driving habits should be consistent and dependable on the road. As a result, be careful not to make abrupt stops, lane changes, or any other unexpected movements that can endanger your safety or the safety of other drivers.

Implement the safety basics

It’s important to carry out quick activities and inspections in and around your car to improve your general road safety. Hold onto your car keys at all times, make sure the car is locked, and make sure all the windows are closed. Even if the car is unlocked, you should never leave the car unattended.

Make sure you’re sharp on the road

Having everything you need to tackle a lengthy travel is essential for ensuring your safety while driving. This means that you should take every possible step to improve your focus and mental alertness, including:

  • Get a decent sleep before travelling – at least six hours
  • Make regular rest stops – at least every three hours
  • Bring healthy snacks and stay hydrated
  • Stay cool with either open windows or air-conditioning

Hide your valuables away

As this always proves to be an inevitable temptation for would-be crooks, make sure you never leave your valuables in plain sight in the car. Instead, keep your valuables locked in your glove compartment, boot, or under your seat.

Use an alarm system

Having an alarm system will improve your safety while driving because it will immediately notify the public if your automobile is being attempted to be stolen. Use of a tracking device is advised to increase security further.

Tips to stay safe during the festive season

  • If you are traveling an unfamiliar route, make sure to plan your route properly ahead of time.
  • Try to avoid back roads as much as possible.
  • Always be aware of your surroundings.
  • Be aware that shopping malls will be crowded plan accordingly.
  • Park in well lit areas at night.
  • Never give lifts to strangers.
  • Always have a map of the area on you.
  • Be aware of the emergency numbers just in case.
  • Do not carry around large sums of money.

Basic safety tips to consider

  • Be extremely careful on the roads.
  • Keep valuable items concealed.
  • Be aware of strangers.
  • It is always better to travel in groups.
  • Do your own research.
  • Keep your car doors locked at all times.
  • Always be sure to have certified identification on you.
  • Keep your important items locked up in a safe at home or at your hotel.

Plan activities

Plan some extra activities in addition to keeping your electronics charged and movies downloaded. These will be available as a fallback if digital entertainment is unable to keep the kids entertained. Planning outside activities that let your kids burn off excess energy when you stop for breaks is another aspect of this.

“No trip whether down the road to the shop or across the country should be stressful. It adds unnecessary pressure to a journey that could be avoided with a few simple steps to prepare for the trip,” says Herbert.

As we all know, the holiday season sees a sharp spike in traffic accidents, which result in hundreds of fatalities. To ensure your safety, follow the traffic laws, abstain from drinking and driving, limit your distractions, pay attention to other vehicles and pedestrians, and put your phone away when driving.

Get yourself set

Make sure you are prepared for the trip once your car is ready. Plan for your next stop whether you’re traveling along the garden path or a chance gravel road. Knowing the routes you’ll take and making plans accordingly is a good idea. If you’re feeling brave, use a navigation app responsibly and plan your routes before starting your car to safely explore our stunning nation. Additional safety tests to perform include:

  • Fasten your seatbelt before starting your vehicle.
  • Ensure your mobile is charged for the trip or have a handy portable charger. Making sure your phone is fully charged will come in handy when making a call in an emergency or using Maps to find your way (remember that it’s illegal to use your mobile device while driving).
  • Tell a friend or family member where you are travelling to and make sure they have your contact details as well as those of another immediate contact of yours.

Fuel the journey

Both having enough fuel and having the correct fuel is crucial. Remember that longer journeys demand more fuel than your typical daily commute. To get the most out of your fuel, set a realistic budget and remember the fundamentals:

  • Limit drastic changes in speed, keep it moderate and adhere to the speed limits
  • Cool down the gearbox by placing it in neutral at traffic lights or in traffic standstills
  • Have a legally compliant jerry can on hand or buy one at any Total service station in case you need to collect fuel. All service stations are bound by law to only provide fuel in appropriate containers and in certain volumes.
  • Fuel up regularly and remember to pack your loyalty card to earn benefits as you go.

Enjoy the ride

Driving is an intensive, enjoyable, hands-on experience. To make the most of your journey and stay safe on the road, keep your attention off of things like cell phones, rowdy backseat drivers, and other potentially dangerous circumstances. Have a first aid kit on hand as well so you can take care of any minor injuries that don’t require professional medical attention. It’s important to remember that the journey itself is just as important as the final destination once you are secure.

Fikile Mbalula launches 2022 Festive Season Road Safety Campaign

Mbalula said this was a time when families were together, schools closed, and many workers were on holiday breaks when he introduced the Arrive Alive road safety campaign. Everyone took part in the holiday celebrations. After a difficult year, he said it was time for people to unwind, refuel, and take a well-earned rest. He added that it was a time when many revelers hit the roads after drinking too many drinks, while others behaved dangerously, endangering the lives of other drivers. Congested roadways were a given since it was assumed that migrant workers would travel across provincial and national borders to get home from the cities where they work.

“This places tremendous pressure on our roads and requires heightened law enforcement to ensure that every road user reaches their destination alive.This congestion across our national road network requires of road users to exercise extreme caution and vigilance. Road crashes resulting in serious injuries and fatalities continue to pose a huge burden to our economy, with a loss of more than R188 billion annually. Historic trends demonstrate that the festive season is characterised by lawlessness on our roads.This is a consequence of those who conduct themselves in a manner that undermines the rights of others to use the shared road space. This is conduct that often results in the loss of life and limb on the roads.”Mbalula called upon road users to remember that there was life beyond December. “All traffic law enforcement authorities across spheres of government have committed themselves to aggressively tackle a list of priorities that include vehicle roadworthiness, pedestrian safety, public passenger transport, drunken driving and speeding,” it said.

ALSO READ :What you need to know about roadblocks this festive season


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