Excitement already runs high and many South Africans have already packed their vehicles in anticipation of the onset of the annual Easter holiday season tomorrow (Friday) when they will depart for their various holiday destinations.
This time of the year is also synonymous with high traffic volumes, especially in Limpopo. High traffic volumes mean higher risks of being involved in an accident.
To avoid becoming part of the annual road fatality statistics over the Easter weekend, Arrive Alive provides some valuable tips and precautionary measures to ensure a safe journey.
Work or virtually any activity increases the likelihood of fatigue so start any trip by getting enough sleep the night before – at least six hours is recommended. Emotional stress or illness can also cause fatigue.
Plan your route, refuelling, rests and overnight stops.
Check your car’s roadworthiness. Headlights, indicators, stop lights, tail lights, windscreen wiper blades, mirrors, brakes, steering, tyres, tyre pressures, exhaust system and possible oil or fuel leaks.
Check coolant, fluids and oil levels.
Check that the spare wheel is in good condition and properly inflated. Make sure that you have a serviceable jack and wheel brace.
Ensure any luggage or cargo is put in the boot or secured in the vehicle.
Never transport flammable liquid in the vehicle.
Take a 15-minute break at least every 2 hours.
Prevent sun glare and eye fatigue by wearing good quality sunglasses.
Avoid eating heavy foods.
Do not consume any alcohol during your trip.
An overheated or very cold vehicle can compound the fatigue effects.
If you can, have another person drive with you, so you will have someone to talk to and who can share the driving.
Make sure that you rest when you are not driving.
Avoid driving during your body’s downtime.
Boredom can also cause fatigue. Music, radio or conversation is helpful.
Always use your seat belts.
Keep a safe distance behind the car in front of you.
Drive according to the road conditions.
Reduce speed when it is raining or the road is wet.
Adhere to speed limits.
Use low beam headlights (never drive with parking lights) between sunset and sunrise as well as in overcast or misty weather conditions.
Look out for these signs when you are driving:
slowed down reactions
bodily stiffness and heavy eyelids
veering over the centre line or to the edge of the road
If you notice any of these danger signs, stop for a rest. If needed, a quick nap will help. During your break, get some exercise – it helps you become more alert quickly.
Story: RC Myburgh