Don’t snap on the road to holiday

2016-12-13 06:01
 Prepare before you take to the road for your holiday.

Prepare before you take to the road for your holiday.

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Many South Africans are looking forward to their much-deserved vacations. The Automobile Association (AA) says in a statement all drivers must consider the road and weather conditions of the route they will be using to go on holiday, as well as at their holiday destinations.

“Weather patterns across the country change from province to province and severe heat or wet conditions may be experienced in parts. If you have been driving for a long time, in the heat, this may have an impact on your overall mood, and may make you tired, irritable and quick-tempered. It is critical that you rest and relax before continuing your journey to avoid being in a situation where you ‘snap’,” the AA warns.

The heat is especially dangerous for children and pets, the organisation adds. Neither should be left alone in locked cars with the windows up. Children and pets should also be given water on the journey. Regular stops to give children and pets a chance to stretch their legs and get fresh air are also vital.

The AA urges drivers to remember that children need to be protected in car seats, and that pets should be kept in crates for the journey.

The AA suggests the following:

. Plan your route. Check the conditions of the road and the weather on your route and make sure that it is still safe to use.

. Sleep the night before leaving. Having a good night’s rest before you hit the road will put you in the right frame of mind to tackle the long journey. Driving while you are tired or weary is dangerous.

. Stop and rest every two hours or every 200km and rest for at least 15 minutes.

. If possible, share the driving workload. If there is another licenced driver in the car, let them drive for some of the journey.

. Don’t rush. Leave enough time to get to your destination in good time. Arrive at your destination in one piece, rather than not at all.

. Dress comfortably for the car. Apply sunblock if necessary because your arms and legs may be exposed to the sun, even if you aren’t aware of it.

. Drink lots of water.

. Open your windows. Even if your car is equipped with an air conditioner, open the windows every now and again to let fresh air in.

. Obey the rules of the road – they are meant for everyone.

. Wear your seatbelt and ensure all passengers – including children – are also properly buckled up.

. Don’t be distracted. Using a cellphone or constantly turning around to talk to passengers in the back are dangerous as they are taking your focus away from the road. Pay attention to your own, and other drivers’ behaviour.

. Don’t drink and drive.

. Be courteous to other drivers and respect their right to also use the road.

. Check your tyres for wear and for correct inflation. Don’t forget to also check the spare.

“More and more people will be on the roads over the festive period so it is critical that motorists are calm and prepared for the road.

“It is also important that drivers appreciate the fact that their actions have an impact on others,” according to the AA.

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