This year, nobody can be blamed for wanting to close their office doors and rush off to enjoy their December holidays. After what can only be described as an unsettling year, this festive season is looking better than ever. However, with South Africans’ excitement and impatience to get to their destinations, comes an increase in road accidents. Our road statistics are scary at the best of times, but during the holiday season these numbers rise dramatically. 

“South African roads over the festive holidays can be a worrying place to be. The amount of cars on the roads, driver carelessness, impatience, fatigue and car worthiness all play a factor in the accidents that occur during this time,” explains David Roache, dotsure.co.za’s Chief Operating Officer. “However, being prepared for the trip – and I am not referring to what is packed in your suitcases – means putting into place travelling checklists and vehicles checks before and along the way.” 

Keeping yourself and your family safe on the roads should be a top priority when travelling, and nothing should go unchecked. When planning your holiday, the following should be included:

  1. Have your car checked before making a long journey. If a service is needed, don’t put it off. Other things to check include your oil and other fluids, tyres, battery, lights and wipers, air filter and brakes.  Knowing that your car is good working condition is one less thing to worry about on the road.
  2. Ensure that you get a good night’s sleep before the drive – at least seven to eight hours is recommended for optimum concentration. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, if you have five hours or less sleep at night, it’s equivalent to driving drunk the next day.
  3. Is your car insured? Motor insurance is one of the most important holiday companions should an accident or breakdown occur. Familiarise yourself with what your insurance includes so that you are not caught unaware. If you are in need of car insurance or advice on what cover you may need while travelling, head to dotsure.co.za to help you with all your motoring insurance needs.
  4. Avoid drivers’ fatigue by making stops along the way, playing mental games with other passengers in the car, and listening to music or an audio book to keep you awake. If possible, travel with a passenger who can share the driving. Break up the trip into two-hour shifts, allowing each driver a power nap or time to relax – driving long distances can be extremely stressful and requires long periods of concentration.
  5. Most road accidents tend to happen between midnight and 6am – the natural sleeping time. Rather plan your trip after this time do it to avoid any additional stress or sleepiness.

“Your first priority when going on holiday should be a safe trip,” comments Roache, “And once there, it can be time to relax and enjoy the summer fun.”

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