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Drive Safely this Christmas

Nov 30, 2022 | Safety & Wellbeing

Drive Safely This Christmas

Christmas is a time of joy and a time for love and cheer; for celebrating with family and friends and making memories. Sadly, it is also a time where we see increased road accidents resulting in many sustaining physical injuries and losing their lives.

With people travelling to attend year-end events, visit loved ones and head off on holidays, etc., road traffic tends to increase significantly during the summer holiday period. This surge in traffic volume, accompanied by factors like alcohol consumption, speed, distraction, fatigue and driving in unfamiliar territories, makes the roads dangerous for motorists. Fortunately, there are things you can do to reduce the risk of being involved in an accident.

Here are a few tips to help you drive safely this Christmas.

Prepare Your Vehicle

Hazards like a blown tyre can be dangerous and leave you stranded on the side of the road, so it is wise to crash-proof your vehicle and ensure that it is adequately equipped for travel.

Check your brakes, fluids, battery, windscreen, windows, mirrors and tyres (tread, pressure, etc.). See to it that you have a properly inflated spare tyre for emergency situations, along with a car jack, a wheel brace, jumper cables, a safety cone, a flashlight and other essentials. Before travelling long distances, have your vehicle serviced if possible. Take your car to auto professionals and have them perform any necessary maintenance.

Prepare Yourself

Self-preparation is as important and beneficial as preparing your car. After all, you’re the one who is going to be driving. If you aren’t in the condition to do so or aren’t well equipped, things could go wrong.

If you are going remote, in addition to the basics mentioned above for vehicle prep, check that you have a first aid kit, flares, matches, blankets and non-perishable food items. Keep bottled water handy (sip often to stay hydrated and alert) and carry a mobile phone and mobile phone chargers. Prior to going on holiday trips, get enough sleep, as fatigue is one of the main causes of serious and fatal crashes.

Plan Ahead

Planning for drives in advance prepares you for problems you might encounter on the road as a motorist. It will keep you and others safe this Christmas, while increasing comfort and convenience.

Figuring out alternate routes quickly can be challenging when there’s construction, road closures and heavy traffic. Avoid this by plotting your course ahead of time and taking note of alternate routes. To avoid traffic, time your travel for outside peak traffic times — however, bear in mind that there is an increased incidence of drunk driving in the late hours.

On that note, do not consume alcohol before driving. Always wear your seat belt and plan to stop frequently for rest.

Stay safe this festive season.