South Africa has officially been ranked as the world’s most dangerous country to drive in according to a research study undertaken by international driver education company Zutobi.
That’s an alarming statistic for families planning to hit the roads this Easter. We have a few suggestions to help minimise your risk on the roads:
Do a safety check
- Most car dealerships offer a vehicle safety check. It is quick and thorough and can be done on the same day that you leave.
Lights & indicators
Check front and rear lights, brake lights, and indicators are all in working order
Windows & wipers
Check for chips or cracks in your windscreen
Check all tyres for adequate tread and even wear
Check the condition and correct inflation of the spare tyre
Check the condition of shock absorbers
Check the condition of the battery and ensure that the battery’s water is topped up
Test brakes for stopping ability
Check for vibration or noise
Check for leaks, noise, vibrations, and bad smells such as burning or gas
Check that all fluids are topped up to the correct level and that the radiator cap seals properly
Tools & safety equipment
Check that the vehicle is equipped with a reflective triangle, working flashlight, car jack, and wrench
- Our Red Alert Emergency Medical Services teams advise that in many of the accident scenes they attend to, casualties could have been avoided or minimised if the occupants of the vehicles had been wearing their seatbelts. This supports stats from the Automobile Association and Arrive Alive so we urge you to use your seatbelts. This applies to the driver and all passengers in the vehicle.
Use car seats for children
- Parents often fail to check but it is critical for the safety of children that they are in the correct safety seats and that those seats are correctly and securely fitted in the vehicle. Check this instructional video if you’re not sure exactly what to do. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0eqU9IUndqo
Keep a safe distance between you and other vehicles on the road
- In most cases, a safe following distance is much longer than a car length. You should drive at least 2 seconds behind the vehicle in front during ideal conditions. Add 1 second extra for each 3mof trailer length—when driving a vehicle towing a trailer or caravan.
Do not attempt to drive if you have consumed prescription medications
- Prescription meds that lead to drowsiness and the consumption of alcohol will impair your driving ability. Rather call an Uber or arrange for your partner or friend to drive you if you are on meds or are planning to have a few drinks.
Keep your calm
- Road rage is on the increase and the more impatient drivers are, the more likely they are to either cause or be involved in an accident. Arrange to leave early enough to allow for minor delays on the roads.
Check your eyesight and avoid night driving
- Many people battle with night driving and if you are one of them it’s best to limit night outings as much as possible or at least stick to well-lit roads.