It’s almost March, but some still struggle to adjust to the new year. Traffic is overwhelming every morning and afternoon on the busy roads, and the commute to and from work can be exhausting, especially after a relaxing holiday with the family.
Furthermore, The Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) annual road death statistics report that there has been a continuous rise in road deaths in South Africa in the last few years. Here are some important tips to remember when you’re driving after an exhausting day.
- Don’t use your mobile phone whilst driving: Making or receiving a call – even using a ‘hands free’ phone – can distract you from driving and could lead to an accident.
- Buckle up in the back: In a collision, an unbelted rear passenger can kill or seriously injure the driver or a front seat passenger.
- Don’t drink and drive: Any alcohol – even a small amount – can impair your driving and decrease your reaction time, even when you feel completely sober.
- Slow down: An increase in speed as slight as 5km/h makes you almost twice as likely to hit a pedestrian.
- Children: Children often act impulsively, so take extra care outside schools and near busses.
- Take a break: Tiredness is a major factor in road accidents. Plan to stop every 2 hours for a break on a long journey.
- Walk safely: When crossing a road always use a pedestrian crossing if there is one nearby. Help others to see you by wearing fluorescent or reflective clothing in poor light conditions.
- Anticipate: Observe and anticipate other road users and use your mirrors regularly.
- Use car seats: Child and baby seats should be fitted properly and checked before every trip.
- Keep your distance: Always keep a two second gap between you and the car in front of you, increasing the distance as your speed does.
These tips may seem obvious and redundant to many, but the distractions of life often cause us to neglect following basic safety precautions as a result.