Driving on holiday this festive season? Here's how to stay safe

Be aware of what's happening around you when driving and be sure to obey the traffic cops during the year-end holidays.
Be aware of what's happening around you when driving and be sure to obey the traffic cops during the year-end holidays.
Image: Thapelo Morebudi

Planning to hit the road and go away this festive season? Here's how you can get your much-needed rest and stay safe.

Insurance company Dialdirect has compiled a long list of potentially life-saving tips you should not leave home without.

In a recent online survey the insurer conducted, 75% of holidaymakers said that they would be travelling to their holiday destinations by car.

“It is up to each of us to take proactive action to reduce road deaths, but despite our best efforts, tragedy still does strike,” said Anneli Retief, head of Dialdirect insurance. “It is an absolute must to make sure that you are comprehensively insured so that you can be up and running again in no time.”

Dialdirect is imploring road-trippers to be vigilant on the roads and has put together a list of practical tips to help you to drive right and avoid becoming a statistic this festive season.

Plan your trip carefully and use the technology at your disposal to avoid problem areas. Don’t drink and drive. Alternate the alcoholic drinks you do have with soft drinks or water. If you’ve been drinking, do not take a chance and rather call a taxi.

“Focus. Avoid distractions like eating, drinking, minding children, or using your cellphone while driving.

Be especially mindful of roadworks and lane closures. Allow yourself extra time to reach your destination. Be patient and pass swiftly, only when you can safely do so,” said Dialdirect.

The insurance company advises motorists to get enough rest and avoid fatigue, 

Motorists should get at least seven hours sleep before a long-distance trip, and avoid travelling during their body’s downtime, which for most people is between 2am and 6am.

“Plan breaks into your trip and do not drive when you’re tired. Avoid having sugary or fatty snacks, energy drinks and caffeine to keep you going. Drink lots of water, eat healthy foods, and pull over to rest and refresh properly when you need to.” 

If you get stuck in a dangerous spot, get out of your vehicle when it is safe to do so, and walk carefully to the side of the road. Ideally, you should remain in your car with the doors locked. Then contact emergency services and your insurer for assistance.



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