The short Easter holiday puts motorists who tackle long distances on congested main routes under pressure. Here are 10 ways to help you survive your Easter road trip:
1. Make sure your car is able to get there without a breakdown.
Contact your local dealership now and ask them to do a 30-point check for you. That will cover windscreen wipers, brakes, spare tyres and oil pressure for example.
2. Plan your route
Even if you’ve traveled the road before, call the Automobile Association (AA) to find out if there are roadworks en your route. Either plan to take an alternative route or plan for delays by stocking the car with lots of healthy snacks and water.
3. Fatigue is a leading cause of accidents so get proper rest before you travel. When you hit the road, the rule of thumb is to stop every 200kms to stretch your legs and get some fresh air. It’s all about the journey so relax and take your time.
4. Consider booking a stay at a town you haven’t explored that’s on the way.
Consider it part of your holiday so that you’re not tempted to push through on a journey longer than about 800kms, particularly if you are traveling with children. Whilst you might be able to drive all day it seems to take much longer in the backseat.
5. Drive during the day.
The significant decrease in visibility at night results in diminished speed and distance judgment, often leading to fatal mistakes. Rather, pack the car at night, have a quick early shower to wake you up and hit the road in the early hours of the morning when there is less likelihood of drunk drivers on the road.
6. Buckle up
Get car seats fitted properly – they shouldn’t move if you push them – and secure your toddler or baby well. All passengers need to use seatbelts. Make it a habit every time you get in the car. When used correctly, seatbelts reduce the risk of fatal injury to passengers by 45%.
7. Never drink and drive
It goes without saying that you should not be tempted to partake in any drinking of alcohol the night before you travel. You need to be sober and wide awake behind the wheel of thecar.
8. Keep a safe following distance
A car traveling at 120kms per hour will take approximately 200m to come to a stop. Make sure you keep a safe distance so that you have time to react and avoid a collision.