With the end of 2020 comes a well-earned break after a long and extremely difficult year. In the first installment of our 3-part holiday driving series, we focus on the importance of driver attitude.
With the end of the year comes a well-earned break after a long and extremely difficult year. Typically, there’s a lot of traveling during this period. In keeping with Continental’s Vision Zero strategy that aims to reduce and eventually eliminate road traffic collisions, injuries and fatalities, we encourage all motorists and their families to play an active role in road safety this Festive Season.
One of the most importance elements of road safety is the driver and his or her attitude when behind the wheel. Follow these basics of safe holiday driving:
- Rest Before You Drive: Have a good night’s rest before heading on any long journey. Around eight hours of sleep is ideal.
- Don’t Drink and Drive: Drunk driving is a major contributing factor in road accidents and deaths in South Africa. Consuming just one or two drinks may put you over the legal limit. It’s simple: if you drink, don’t drive. And if you’re driving, be responsible and don’t drink!
- Don’t Drive Distracted: Using a phone while driving has rapidly become one of the biggest causes of accidents around the world, and is just as dangerous as drunk driving. Use a Bluetooth car kit if necessary, and keep your eyes on the road!
- Take A Break Every Two Hours: Take regular breaks throughout your trip, stopping approximately every two hours. Driver fatigue is one of the leading causes of accidents – so if you’re tired, stop to change drivers or have a rest.
- Safety Belts: Safety belts must be worn by everyone in the car (both front and rear occupants), at all times. It’s your primary safety device, so don’t take chances! Young children should be strapped into an age-appropriate baby seat or a booster seat.
- Speed: Stick to the stipulated speed limits throughout your journey. Speed limits are set with your safety in mind, as well as that of fellow motorists and pedestrians. Rather take it easy and enjoy the journey!
- Following Distances: Maintain a 3-second following distance from the vehicle ahead, which gives you space to slow down or stop if necessary. If visibility is reduced due to rain or mist, or when driving at night, increase the gap to 6 seconds.
- Keep Left, Pass Right: The age-old rule of driving remains an important one, to ensure the smoothest possible flow of traffic, and to reduce congestion and frustration in traffic. Stick to the left lane, and use the right lane for passing manouevres.
- Emergency Access: If there’s an accident ahead, keep the shoulder of the road clear so that emergency vehicles can make their way to the scene as soon as possible. Clogging the entire road only leads to further delays – both for the accident victims who may need critical medical care (you never know, it could be your family or friends), and for all of the affected road users.