CHECK YOURSELF: With the school- and public holidays looming, best be prepared before taking to the road. Image: iStock
Cape Town - As we head into the Easter period and the many public holidays of April and May, one thing we can be sure of is that we will be spending more time on the roads.
It is also the reason why this time of year has some of the highest road fatalities after December. Now might be a great time to equip yourself with some driving skills which may prevent you from joining these statistics.
1 Pre-trip inspections
Reacquaint yourself with the customary checks you should perform on your car before embarking on a trip, especially a long one.
While these inspections can be tedious and seem unnecessary, it can prevent you from being stranded for hours or worse from being involved in a crash.
Try and make it more interesting by turning it into a game with the kids.
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According to the MD of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert, for more complicated issues like tyre, shock and car services, it is always recommended to let the professionals handle it.
He says: “There can be no room for error here. Ultimately, you will save yourself more than money ensuring it is done correctly the first time.”
2 Everyone else is the problem, right?
Reducing high fatality rates on our roads requires a commitment from every driver.
Herbert continues: “All drivers need to understand and acknowledge their role in road safety. Safe roads are not only created by other people, but by ourselves too. Every decision you make has far-reaching effects for you and many other people. A keen understanding of this may discourage you from overtaking on that blind rise.
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“Every time you get behind that wheel ensure you are completely aware of your surroundings and make a concerted effort to pay attention. Driving is not something you should do on autopilot. When driving on autopilot you give control of your car and safety to other drivers on the road. It is incredibly dangerous."
3 The weary driving danger
Another danger on the roads which is synonymous with holiday periods is drowsy driving. Late nights, long eventful days and overindulgence all increase fatigue. For those driving long distances, the temptation to not stop regularly remains a common problem. Ensure you get adequate amounts of sleep before driving, stop often and if you start feeling weary rather stop.
Drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as drunken driving.
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Herbert says driver safety is a priority for MasterDrive: “In light of this and to encourage everyone to return safely to their lives after the holidays we would like to start a MasterDrive Challenge. Passengers can compile a video of everything drivers do to arrive safely concluding with the number of kilometers safely travelled and send this to us. We will select the winner.
“We have also put together a number of workshops which directly deal with all these serious issues. To support our objective of increasing roods safety we have kept the prices affordable. We encourage any driver who is serious about their safety to seize this opportunity,’’ says Herbert.