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#YouthDay weekend: 14 ways to survive an SA road trip

2017-06-15 11:50

SAFETY CHECKS: Make sure your car is in perfect working condition before you head off on a road trip. Image: Supplied

Cape Town - Many drivers are taking to our roads this weekend as part of the 2017 Youth Day  (June 16) celebration.

A long-weekend is the perfect opportunity to head out on the open road with your family provided you're prepared for the journey. 

Given the high volumes of traffic expected, SA's roads will become increasingly dangerous this weekend.  

Plan ahead

Whether it's a trip to a local camping spot or a cross-country journey, you need to be prepared for a road trip. 

Here are 14 top SA road-trip tips: List by the Automobile Association

1. Plan your route
Check the conditions of the road and the weather on your planned route and make sure that it is still safe to use. Planning ahead will also help you plan accommodation for an overnight stay if your need it.
2. Sleep the night before leaving
Having a good night’s rest before you hit the road will put you in the right frame of mind to tackle the long journey. Driving while you are tired or weary is dangerous not only for you and your family, but other road users.
3. Stop and rest every two hours

...Or every 200km and rest for at least 15 minutes. This will allow you to refresh and refocus for the rest of the journey.
4. If possible, share the driving workload
If there is another licensed driver in the car, let them drive for some of the journey. This will take your mind off the road and give you some time to mentally recharge.
5. Don’t rush
Leave enough time to get to your destination in good time. Speeding is against the law and dangerous. Arrive at your destination in one piece, rather than not at all.
6. Dress comfortably for the car
Wear clothes that allow for freedom of movement, and which are comfortable. Apply sunblock if necessary because your arms and legs may be exposed to the sun, even if you aren’t aware of it.
7. Drink lots of water
Staying hydrated is extremely important, especially if it is hot.
8. Open your windows
Even if your car is equipped with an air conditioner, open the windows every now and again to let fresh air in. 
9. Obey the rules of the road 
They are meant for everyone and are there for a reason.
10. Wear your seatbelt 
Aall passengers – including children – are also properly buckled up.
11. Don’t be distracted
Talking or texting on a cellphone, or constantly turning around to interact with passengers on the back seat are all extreme dangerous as they are taking your focus away from the road. Pay attention to your own, and other drivers’ behaviour.
12. Don’t drink and drive
Alcohol and driving do not mix, it’s as simple as that.
13. Be courteous to other drivers
Respect their right to also use the road.
14. Check your tyres
Bald or worn tyres can be deadly. Check your tyres for wear and for correct inflation. Don’t forget to also check the spare.


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