A very important message from WOW to motorists travelling on SA’s roads over the holiday period…
While many of us are looking forward to a well deserved break, we know that our first point-of-call is to switch off our minds a bit and relax this holiday. As good as this is for the soul, WOW would like to remind all our readers to stay safe on the roads and to keep a few things in mind when getting behind the wheel.
We want you all to stay with us through to 2019 and with this comes a very important message to motorists: Never let your guard down, stay focused and plan ahead!
Yes, the holidays are meant for relaxation, but as we turn on the ignitions of our vehicles, we must turn on our brains too. Holiday seasons are known for high road accidents and fatalities, smash-and-grab incidents and hijackings, so it’s important now more so than ever that you remain vigilant and prepared.
Texting or talking on your phone while driving is a common habit and unfortunately leads to countless road accidents. According to the AAresearchers studying brain imaging documented that listening alone reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37%. Keep your phone away and set an example to other distracted drivers who could be responsible for road fatalities because of this bad habit.
Creeping over the speed limit is not only dangerous but costly too. Road accidents and fatalities, particularly over the holiday periods in SA, are often caused by motorists who fail to stick to speed limits and therefore become unable to avoid a dangerous situation. You can be heavily fined for going over speed limits.
When we’re in a rush we often forget to maintain a 2-3 second gap between ourselves and the car in front of us. But sticking to a safe following distance can safeguard you against a number of things. Keeping your distance can save you from knocking the car in front of you in case of an unexpected halt in traffic. With a high risk of high-jackings in South Africa it can also help you to move your way out of an otherwise tight spot to escape a situation.
Safe drivers keep their headlights on whenever visibility is poor: when it rains, between sunset and sunrise or whenever visibility is not clear 150 meters ahead of you.
Get into the habit of checking your tyre pressure, oil and water levels every time you fill up at the petrol station. Oil reduces the risk of friction to your engine while making sure that your water level is topped up is a large part of car maintenance. Always check your tyre pressure before embarking on long journeys.
The dangers of drinking and driving are extensive and most people would agree that getting behind the wheel after one too many drinks is a pretty dumb idea. Not only do you risk getting caught at a road block and spending the weekend in jail, if you drink and drive you put the lives of others (in the car or on the road) in danger. Safe drivers opt for a cab or Uber home instead.
Blasting your car’s sound system can be fun but it can be a major distraction as well as hazardous. Loud music can decrease a driver’s ability to react to any sudden or unexpected movements or happenings on the road.
The law makes it clear that it is up to the adult driving to ensure that all passengers have buckled up when in the car. Wearing a seatbelt is the simplest way to save your life and a good driver will insist that everyone else does the same when travelling with you.
There’s nothing more frustrating about a driver who doesn’t follow routine checks before turning or changing lanes. Indicating before turning informs other drivers of what you’re doing so that they can follow safely. Checking blindspots might be a pain, but your blindspot is an area that can’t be seen from your car’s review and side mirrors.
Source: The Automobile Association