Top tips for a safer holiday


It’s not always about the destination but about the journey. However, an important part is getting there ? and arriving alive. With the summer holidays around the corner, we welcome school holidays and family vacations. While enjoying a holiday can be incredible fun, getting there can be a nightmare! Here are some top tips to ensure a safer holiday for you and your family this festive season! Here are some handy tips for when you take to the road: 

1.     Check your vehicle

It’s always a good idea to have your car checked before you leave on a long journey. Have your vehicle serviced if it’s due for one.

2.     Plan your route Make sure your route is well planned. Have maps easily available or make sure your GPS is charged up and the destination is programmed in ahead of time. 3.     Time for an inspection The day before the trip, give your car an inspection: check all the vehicle’s lights – headlights, brake lights, tail lights and indicators, check the windscreen for chips and cracks, and make sure the windscreen wipers work and are in good condition. Fill up the water reservoir, check the oil level and brake fluid, and inspect the condition of all the tyres, including the all-important spare wheel and tools.

4.     Remember the toll

Make sure you’re aware of the toll roads along your planned route and the relevant fees charged. If you’re not paying with a credit or debit card, have spare change ready to save time.

5.      Plan your rest stops

Identify the filling and rest stations along your route so you can plan your stops and fill up with fuel, let the kids stretch their legs and enjoy some refreshments. Fatigue remains one of the biggest killers on our roads, so rest every 200 km or at least every two hours of driving. If you’re tired, don’t drive.

6.     Obey the laws

The laws don’t change just because you’re on holiday. The same road rules apply such as driving sober (no drinking and driving), always wearing seatbelts, obeying the speed limits and keeping a safe following distance at all times.

7.     Always buckle up

Even if you’re driving a short distance from the beach, and regardless of whether you’re sitting in front or in the back, it’s essential to wear your seatbelt. Not only is this the law, but it could save your life. And remember, no hanging out of vehicle windows while driving.

8.     Distract the kids

Plan ahead to keep the kids busy: this will help prevent unnecessary distractions for the driver.

9.     Do your research

If you’re travelling beyond South Africa’s borders, make sure you’ve done your research on the local road rules and any requirements for vehicles and documentation before you head out. They could be different to South African rules and you don’t want to be caught out when you get there.

Get to your destination, and get there safely. But enjoy the drive this spring holiday!

-Faiza Mallick

Source: Automobile Association of South Africa (AA)

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