Johannesburg – Did you know that accidents are 25% more likely during long weekends? Here is a checklist to make sure your car can travel safely.
Driving long distances for a vacation or to see family can be an exciting experience, especially in these times of the coronavirus pandemic, but, before doing so, it is essential to ensure that the car’s key functions are working. .
One insurer warned S that at least four in 10 accidents could result in serious injury, using historical claims data.
Thousands of South Africans are expected to travel long distances by car or public transport due to Heritage Day on a Friday, and with that in mind, the insurer has provided a checklist for s ‘ensure that motorists and their families are as safe as possible. .
CHECK THE CAR
This can be checked at home or free of charge at a control center.
“Before you hit the road, be sure to check the headlights, windows and wipers, wheels and tires, brakes, suspension, battery, belts and chains, cooling system, filters and fluids, safety and warning equipment and child car seats. “said Ricardo Coetzee, the head of Auto and General.
DRIVE WITH CARE
Coetzee advises motorists to keep a safe distance of two to three seconds.
This gives motorists enough time to maneuver if the car in front brakes suddenly.
He adds, “Speed drastically reduces your ability to move safely around bends and objects in the road, and drastically reduces the time you have to react to a dangerous situation.
“It not only increases your chances of having an accident, but it also dramatically increases the severity of an accident,” says Coetzee.
Citing a report from the World Health Organization, he said motorists could save their lives or the lives of other commuters if they reduced their speed by 10 km / h.
“This small change reduces the number of deaths by almost 40%. Play by the rules of the road, don’t overestimate your own luck, timing, or observation skills.
“Stop at a red light and stop sign, without fail.
“Choose the right lane for the speed at which you are going. Even with lines that allow overtaking, still make sure it is safe to do so. Avoid passing several vehicles at once, ”he said.
“Don’t drive drunk: the legal limit in South Africa is a breath alcohol content of 0.24 mg per 1000 ml, or a blood alcohol limit of 0.05 g per 100 ml.
“Typically, two drinks in an hour will get you over the limit. Keep in mind that you could still go over the limit the next morning. Alternate the alcoholic drinks you have with soft drinks or water.
“If you’ve been drinking, don’t take a risk – call a friend or a cab instead,” Coetzee said.
“Make sure the load is within the capacity of your vehicle and that it is properly secured.
“Tie a piece of red cloth to the ends of any object that protrudes from the edges of your vehicle.
“All trailers and caravans should have a safety chain, which helps in the event of a tow bar failure,” Coetzee said.
MAINTAIN THE CAR
“Many accidents on South Africa’s roads are due to vehicle unavailability and failure of vehicle components, with tire failure being one of the main culprits.
“Many motorists also find themselves stranded on the side of the road at the mercy of potential criminals due to vehicle breakdown. No matter how you see it, driving a car that is not properly maintained and suited to the road compromises your safety, ”Coetzee said.
“Have your Covid-19 road travel kit – masks, disinfectant, wipes or soap – on hand at rest areas to make sure you and your loved ones are safe,” he added.
Coetzee said fatigue could set in, especially after a day’s work, emotional stress, illness, boredom and glare from the sun. So rest, take a break, and stretch if necessary.
“Motorists should get at least seven hours of sleep before a long-distance trip and avoid traveling during their body downtime, which for most people is between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m.
“If you are struggling to keep your eyes open, daydreaming or swerving in the middle of the road or on the edge, find a safe place to stop and rest, or let another driver take over,” he said. -he declares.
It is also a good idea to take turns driving and avoid sugary drinks or fatty snacks, energy drinks, and caffeine to try and keep yourself in shape.
“Instead, drink lots of water, eat healthy foods, and stop to rest and cool off properly when you need it,” Coetzee said.