Driving Safety Tips

It’s the holiday season and while many South Africans are flying abroad or locally to be with friends and family, or simply looking for a change of scenery, there’ll be those that will be taking on the open road.

These tips will help you get to your destination safely while keeping you happy on your way there. 

Prepare and Plan

    1. Ensure your car and all its components are in good condition and ready for a long journey. Check brakes,tyres, windscreen wipers, lights, and fill up the tank before setting off.
    2. Get a good amount of sleep the night before, especially if you’re planning to leave before dawn to miss the rush, make sure you turn in early enough to get at least eight hours of restful slumber.
    3. You know what your end destination is, but planning a route ahead of time before setting off gives you an overview of how you’ll get there. Psychologically this will ease your mind,leaving you to concentrate on the important matter of driving.
    4. Get the latest weather reportupdates so that you don’t get caught unaware, and prepare appropriately www.weathersa.co.za.
    5. Eat a healthy meal to help you stay attentive and feeling good. Caffeine may seem like a good idea but the initial alertness fast becomes an unsteady decline.
    6. Dress comfortably and wear loose, natural fibres that breathe.
    7. Pack a printed road map or atlas as a back up to your GPS device. Network services, apps, and technological devices can be unreliable, especially in remote areas.

During Your Journey

  1. Make use of GPS and traffic tracking apps such as Google Maps or Waze. Not only will these guide you with directions so you don’t get lost, but will indicate the traffic situation along the route you plan to take.
  2. Regular and adequate rest breaks during a long journey is fundamental to  avoid fatigue. Share the driving every 2 hours or so even if you don’t feel tired or sleepy. If driving alone it’s important to make regular short stops whenever the opportunity arises. This prevents you from becoming overly fatigued and forced to pull over and rest at a place that is less than desirable or at night.
  3. At times when you have to pull over, remember the rules of the road and never park in the emergency lane or shoulder of the road, unless you have no choice.
  4. A shocking number of accidents are caused by mobile phone use, and South Africa has one of the highest road accident rates in the world, with around 25% of those accidents caused by cellphone use while driving. Most drivers seem not to be aware that they are not permitted to use a hand-held communication device while driving. This includes a cell phone, microphone or other communication devices, as per the South African National Road TrafficAct.
  5. Drinking and driving is a good idea – only if it’s plain water. Anything else besides home brewed teasans the sugar should be avoided. That includes fizzy drinks, energy drinks, commercialiced teas, alcoholic beverages, and the vast array of other choices on the shelves.
  6. Most of all, be courteous to other drivers. Don’t let road rage get the better of you. Remain calm and relaxed. Remind yourself that you are on holiday. Leave the stresses and pressures of the rat race behind and you should be well on your way to a safe, comfortable, and enjoyable ride!

Get peace of mind when travelling on long open roads. We offer you the option to take out vehicle insurance or the AutoPedigree Plus Plan when you buy a used vehicle from Auto Pedigree. Find your nearest branch here and pop in for a visit.

Related link: A South African Road Trip