Just as we heed robots telling us when to stop, go, or remain cautious, so do we also need to apply similar principles when driving, especially during the festive season when roads become more treacherous. Follow these important hints to stop poor driving habits, instil positive ones, and remain cautious when necessary.
Don’t overload your car.
Resist texting or talking on mobile devices while driving and install a hands-free kit in your car.
Do not drink and drive as statistics indicate that 50% of road deaths in South Africa are alcohol-related.
Never overtake on a blind rise or a solid white line.
Don’t drive tired, fatigue affects your concentration and slows down your reactions. Pullover to a safe place and rest every 2 hours or 200km.
Avoid driving when visibility is poor due to the weather, or at night, and re-schedule your journey if possible.
Never disobey road signs and pay attention to flag and law enforcement officer signals.
Do not leave your valuables such as cellphones and wallets in plain sight, but rather carry them with you, or lock them in your boot after you’ve parked. When driving, it is safer to keep valuable items out of sight to avoid smash-and-grab theft.
Don’t retaliate if someone provokes you but remain courteous and obey the rules of the road.
Avoid driving after dark if possible.
Remain alert while driving, keep an eye on what's happening around you and don’t eat, drink or talk to people on the back seat.
Stop every two hours or every 200km for a rest to stretch your legs and regain your focus.
Keep a safe following distance so you have enough time to react in an emergency. Remember to increase your following distance when visibility is poor and the road wet.
Drive defensively so you can prevent collisions caused by bad drivers, drunk drivers, and poor weather conditions – never assume other drivers will do what they are supposed to.
Be prepared for emergencies by carrying an emergency kit with items that will come in handy if you're stranded or involved in a vehicle crash.
Keep a lookout for obstructions like potholes or animals that may stray into the road, especially in rural areas.
Be cautious when driving alone and avoid stopping in remote areas.
Remain alert when you are in an area where there is a risk of criminal activities such as hijacking or smash-and-grab theft.
Follow these anti-hijacking tips from Phillip Kekana
Ensure you and your passengers wear seatbelts and that any children under the age of three are secured in proper child restraint seats.
Always keep your driver's licence with you.
Dip your headlights when you see an approaching vehicle.
Make sure your vehicle is roadworthy before going on a long journey. Examine all lights, indicators, windscreens, windscreen wipers, brakes, steering, shock absorbers, wheel alignment, exhaust system and tyres for faults.
Key in emergency numbers into your cellphone so you know who to call should you need assistance.
Be courteous to fellow road users.
By following these tips, you should be good to go this festive season and remain safe whether you travel the roads locally or while on holiday. Auto Pedigree offers vehicle security in the form of Datadot®, tracking services, and smash and grab window film.
Disclaimer: This information is for educational, or entertainment purposes only. It must not be construed as advice, legal, financial, or otherwise. We do not make any warranties about the completeness, reliability, and accuracy of this information.