Your practical guide to road safety this Easter

Your practical guide to road safety this Easter

– Debbie Smart (Director, Cornerstone Insurance Brokers)

Easter weekend is almost upon us and soon the South African roads will be jam packed with thousands of road users making their way to all corners of the country.  Among the Easter spirit and holiday fun, the unfortunate truth is that road accidents and deaths almost always spike during holiday times.

Cornerstone Insurance Brokers believes that many road accidents can be prevented by following a few simple preventative steps. To help you to stay safer on the road this Easter, we have compiled a practical, easy to use guide to road safety.

Your vehicle

  • Tyres and tread

One of the biggest causes of vehicle collisions are worn and unmaintained tyres. They are vital to the safety of your vehicle and continuous tyre maintenance should be your top priority. Some things to look out for:

Tyre tread. Remember you need at least 1,6mm under South African law, but a tread depth of between 3mm and 4mm is even better and will help to avoid a flat or punctured tyre. If you tread is less than 1,6mm, it’s strongly advisable that you replace your tyres as soon as possible, before embarking on a long journey.

Inflation. If your tyres and either too inflated or not inflated enough, it could wreak havoc on your vehicle’s safety. Make sure that you inflate your tyres according to your vehicles instructions and check them regularly.

  • Brakes and brake fluid

It should come as no surprise that failing brakes have caused severe accidents. Ensure that your brake pads are in good repair and that you have enough brake fluid (also known as DOT4) in your vehicle.

  • Water and coolant

South African summers are not for the faint at heart. With temperatures reaching high thirties in most of the country, your vehicle will need help to stay cool on the road. Make sure that your vehicle has enough water to operate smoothly and remember boost its cooling capabilities by adding a coolant as well.

In case your car does overheat on the road, it’s important to always have emergency water in your vehicle to cool your car rapidly so that you can make it to the nearest service station. However, be careful when driving an overheated car as the engine might cease, making the damage significantly worse.

  • Lights

Driving at night can be dangerous by default, but when your headlights and other indicators aren’t working properly, the results can be deadly. Make sure that all your vehicle lights are in good, working order. These include your headlights, indicators, brake lights as well as hazard lights. If any of them are not working or if the light covers are dirty or damaged, replace them before leaving for holiday.

Never drink and drive

This should be obvious, but sadly there are still countless accidents and deaths caused by drunk drivers. If you know that you will be drinking, avoid driving at all costs. Rather make use of cab services like Uber or Taxify or even services like Buddys that provide designated drivers to drive you home when you are unable to.

Get enough rest before and during the trip

Driving tired is almost just as bad as driving drunk. To avoid falling asleep behind the wheel, make sure that you get enough sleep before embarking on a long journey. On the road, it’s a good idea to stop, take a break and stretch your legs every two hours or 200km. This will help you to stay fresh and alert throughout your journey.

Stay connected

Always make sure that your mobile charger as well as your GPS charger is always in your vehicle. You need a reliable source of communication if you need to reach someone in the event of an emergency. Also, continuously update friends and family members on your whereabouts and progress along your travel route. This will ensure that if you experience an emergency without a way of contacting someone, your last destination will be known.

From all of us at Cornerstone Insurance Brokers, we wish you and your loved ones a blessed Easter. For more fun, informative and thought-provoking content, follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn and remember to check out the blog section of our website for past and future articles.

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