Festive Season Tips for staying safe on the road

Sandisha Sohan | Attorney: Legal Services Division

With the festive season fast approaching and the expected increase of traffic volumes on the roads heading to favourite holiday destinations all over the country, we want you and your loved ones to be safe.

Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind whilst you prepare for your journey:

  • Always prepare for your trip in advance by making sure your vehicle is roadworthy, tyre checks and a regular service by a qualified mechanic is a must. It is advisable that lights, wipers and brakes are all checked before departure to make sure they are in good working order.
  • Make sure you have your driver’s licence and medical aid cards readily available.
  • Always choose the safest route, try to avoid bad weather, roadworks and high accident zones.
  • Always try and travel during the day and limit night time driving.
  • A handy tip is to map out your route on Google Maps as this will give you helpful information such as; your expected arrival time, any congestion or expected delays, as well as, show you the fastest route to arrive at your destination.
  • Always make sure that you and all your passengers are buckled up, if you have children make sure their car seats are properly inserted into the vehicle and that they are safely strapped.
  • Make sure you carry the necessities, such as, bottled water and a few snacks in the event that you are stuck in unplanned roadworks or congestion.
  • Whilst driving…..

    • Adhere to the speed limit and keep a safe following distance especially in wet weather and when visibility is poor.
    • Never take for granted that other road users will follow the rules of the road, defensive driving is a must.
    • Only overtake when it is safe to do so and never overtake on a blind rise, or bend, always check your blind spot when changing lanes.
    • Keep a proper lookout and stay alert.
    • Make sure to stop at regular intervals to stretch your legs and grab a snack.

    Please Avoid….

    • Driving under the influence of alcohol or any substances that may affect your cognitive abilities is prohibited by law, the ZERO-TOLERANCE RULE applies which means that if a driver’s blood alcohol level is more than 0,05% per 100ml he/she is over the legal limit. In most instances, especially during the festive period zero-tolerance applies,if you are pulled over, breatherlized and over the legal limit you will be arrested.
    • Do not text or hold a mobile phone while driving. This is a distraction and causes the driver to focus on the mobile phone and not the road. This can result in loss of control of the vehicle and is dangerous.
    • Keep valuable items out of sight to avoid smash and grab incidents.
    • Do not disobey road signs and designated officials.