You’ll have noticed by now that we often post road safety features. That’s because, sadly, there are a high number of accidents on our roads. Even if you’re a responsible driver, you have to constantly account for the other guy.
So, we’ve compiled some safety tips for you to keep in mind if you’re doing any long distance driving this Easter.
Do your checks.
You know what sucks? Having a breakdown or a flat tyre in the Middleberg of nowhere (that’s a sly reference to one of our other blogs, by the way, check it out here). So you should check your tyres and make sure none have any punctures.
Also, you shouldn’t inflate your tyres after hours on the road. It’s more likely to make them burst. You want to do this before heading off, so make a stop at the petrol station your first priority when you head out on your road trip.
Of course, this is the best time to ensure your oil is topped up and there is enough water. Overheating engines 100kms from the nearest station is the opposite of awesome.
Keep a cool head.
And we don’t just mean in terms of the air conditioning, but that definitely is a must. Technically, the hot season only stops near end of April, so it could be a hot day out there. But what we’re actually referring to is: road rage.
Many South Africans lose their cool on the roads. We are a highly stressed society. But we’ve got to learn to let things go. You don’t know who is driving the other vehicle you’re honking angrily at. It could be someone dangerous. Always consider the safety of your family first and foremost, and if someone cuts you off, or does something else that is highly inconsiderate, dangerous even, rather let it go.
Seatbelts are for everyone.
We have mentioned in a Facebook post before that a high number of men (yes, men) don’t wear their seatbelts – the assumption being that with airbags in the car, they’ll be fine in an accident. This actually isn’t true. Airbags are designed to work best when you’re wearing your seatbelt. In fact, they can be dangerous if you’re not wearing your seatbelt.
But there’s also an assumption that people in the backseat don’t need to worry about seatbelts. Perhaps because the seats in front of them act as a shield. This isn’t the Avengers, and in any case, Shield turned out to be infiltrated by Hydra.
But we digress.
You don’t want your kid to go flying into your backseat after crashing your car while travelling at 120km per hour. Insist the children wear their seatbelts, it’s the responsible thing to do.
Keep them on during the day – this will increase visibility. Again, you might think you don’t need to worry about increased visibility when there’s enough natural light, but you should still be worried about the other guy. Because people can switch off on long road trips and go into a lull.
Lulls are bad because of the whole… general lack of awareness thing. Having your lights on could help make the other driver more aware of you.
Switch it up. (And go easy on the food.)
Long drives take their toll on drivers, impacting concentration. It’s a good idea to switch drivers every two hours. Coffee in a cannister is also a good idea. What isn’t is having a protein heavy meal. Skip the hamburger at that fast food joint during lunch – rather have something light. When you have a big meal, it impacts your body’s priorities. Which switch to digestion mode, reducing alertness. Rather snack if you don’t mind eating in the car.
What’s relatively non-messy (and is still acceptable as a protein meal) is nibbling on biltong. It’s one of our best snacks! Try to avoid junk food though, that’ll definitely mess with your ability to concentrate. So no potato chips, sweets, etc. Rather eat nuts and dried fruit.
You know what offers a surprising amount of concentration, but doesn’t have the serious crash of energy drinks (which are really bad for you)? Water. Keeping yourself hydrated is excellent for staying fresh.
Above all, have a happy Easter!
We hope you have a safe, pleasant trip, and enjoy your well-earned break. When you come back, maybe you’ll decide it’s time for a new car – we’ll take your current one off your hands.