Easter is one of the busiest periods on the road after the festive season. Last Easter saw an increase of 14% in road fatalities. As families head out to holiday destinations for the weekend, it becomes essential that drivers do whatever they can to avoid another increase in statistics.
AVOID THE PEAK HOURS
According to Bakwena Toll Concession, the peak hours will be on Thursday, Friday and Monday. They are expecting between 2400 and 2800 vehicles to pass through Pumulani (route between Pretoria and Hammanskraal) and Carousel toll plazas (route between Pretoria and Warmbaths) per hour during peak times.
Peak times on these routes are:
- N1 Northbound and N4 Westbound
- Thursday 18 April between 12:00 and 21:00
- Friday 19 April between 06:00 and 10:00
- N1 Southbound and N4 Eastbound
- Monday 22 April between 10:00 and 21:00
The Managing Director of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert, says adjust your leaving times to avoid these times. “More cars on the road increases your chances of encountering reckless drivers, is tiring and requires greater concentration and even increases your chances of encountering drunk or fatigued drivers or those who have taken drugs. Choosing to drive during daylight hours a day earlier or later can help you arrive safely and make the trip less stressful.”
SEATBELTS FOR CHILDREN
Easter is also a time when more families are on the road. “Every holiday period we emphasise the importance of buckling up your children. Resist the temptation of not putting the seatbelt on so that they can lie flat on the seat or move around freely.
“If you are in a collision your child becomes a projectile. They will be lurched through the window or doors that open in the collision or they will be thrown into the seat in front of them. The impact of their body hitting the front seat occupant can kill the person sitting in that seat. For the safety of the child and everyone else in the car, children must wear seatbelts, no matter how much they protest,” advises Herbert.
During the 2018 Easter period reckless driving, specifically speeding, was the reason the most drivers were penalised. “Avoiding peak hours will remove the temptation to speed or take risks that the frustration of being in the car longer than expected causes. Yet, not driving recklessly yourself is not enough.
“Keep an eye out for drivers who may endanger others on the road. If someone else is speeding, rather move out of their way. Keep an eye out for dangerous overtaking and quickly determine what the safest course of action is. This could be slowing down to give them extra time or moving off the road to avoid a collision. For those driving recklessly in general, rather let them pass and do not try engage with them, no matter your frustration levels.”
If you are driving to a holiday destination this Easter, take the necessary steps to ensure you arrive safely.