Staying safe on the roads

If you are embarking on a long trip this December, make sure that your car is roadworthy and all the mechanics have been checked over by a qualified mechanic.

Start out with a clean car (you will feel better if this is the case), and don’t overload your vehicle. If you pack too much, you and your passengers will feel very cramped in the car, and it won’t be an easy task to find things you have packed. It will also take longer to unpack when you reach load limit. destination, and most importantly, you run the risk of exceeding your vehicle’s safe load limit – your car’s suspension will be put under extra strain making your car potentially difficult to handle and your brakes won’t function as effectively as they should to name but a few of the problems associated with overloading.

Take along a stocked roadside emergency kit, some food for the road and a sunhat and jersey or jacket in case you happen to be stranded on the side of the road at any time.

Always ensure that you and your passengers wear seat belts – and don’t turn off that annoying alarm that warns you that someone in the vehicle has not buckled up.

Drive at the recommended speed limit for the road you are on, taking into account the weather conditions. If the weather is bad – slow down. If the weather gets really bad – find a place to stop and wait until it eases.

Don’t drive when you are tired. A drowsy driver is just as dangerous as a drunk driver – take turns with another driver in the car, or if this isn’t possible, pull over and get some sleep.

Pay 100% attention to your driving – no mobile phones, fiddling with the entertainment options and so on. Leave that to your passengers, and concentrate on getting you all to your destination safely.

If the road is busy, maintain a following distance appropriate for the road and weather conditions – and a minimum 2 second gap between you and the car in front of you.

There is not a lot that you can do to change the way that other drivers behave on the roads – but you can focus on your own driving, and a little care and courtesy will go a long way to keeping you and your passengers safer on the roads.