You can almost hear the holiday bells ringing and smell the braai meat cooking as you ease into another year next to the pool wearing your sun hat. Let’s not turn those holiday bells into alarm bells by staying safe on the road this festive season. We know that accidents can be caused outside of our control, in which case we can claim from the Road Accident Fund. There are however extra precautions that we can take to avoid being in that unfortunate situation.
1. GET YOUR CAR SERVICED
Take time before you travel a long distance to get your car checked. Make sure that you get the brakes, steering, lights, tyres and windscreen wipers checked and confirm that they are in proper working order.
2. OBEY ALL ROAD RULES
It’s easy to develop bad driving habits mostly through external distractions, like not indicating or forgetting to check your blind spot properly. Long-distance travel, at a time like this though, requires that you keep vigilant and obey all the rules of the road to avoid silly mistakes.
3. PLAN ENOUGH TRAVEL TIME
We’re tempted to not stick to the speed limit when we are running on a tight schedule. Make sure that you leave with more than enough time to reach your destination even if you bump into a little traffic along the way.
4. DRIVE DURING YOUR USUAL WORKING HOURS
Many accidents happen when it’s dark, you’re tired, and visibility isn’t sufficient, so drive during the day when you are the most alert. Putting your headlights on during the day increases your visibility substantially.
5. DON’T DRIVE WHILE YOU’RE DROWSY
Avoid taking medication that you know could potentially make you drowsy. Avoid drinking alcohol before getting behind the wheel. The drinking limit is rightfully very low. The maximum limit is one unit of alcohol per hour. Know what the South African drinking limits are .
6. SECURE ALL PASSENGERS
Part of obeying the rules of the road involves making sure that all passengers have their seat belt correctly fastened. Younger children may need to be in an additional car seat to secure them properly.
7. KEEP EMERGENCY NUMBERS CLOSE
If you’re in an accident, then you need to have several numbers easily accessible. Here is a list of phone numbers that we suggest you save to your phone and in a book, in the vehicle, you’re travelling in, just in case your phone is broken in the accident, or it happens to be flat. Use someone else’s phone to make the necessary calls.
Arrive Alive Call Centre 0861 400 800
Emer-G-Med 0861 007 911
Accident & Breakdown 0860 911 326
Netcare 911 082 911
ER24 084 124
We wish you all a safe and happy festive season. If you’re in the unfortunate position of being in an accident during this time though, let us help get adequately compensated from the Road Accident Fund if applicable.