Road safety tips this holiday season – celebrate and stay safe!
Holidays are not a new thing. They always come. We all know they are coming; be it Christmas break or Easter Break. Statistics show that holiday times are also times with high traffic volume. High traffic volume creates high chances for incidents no matter how careful a driver you are. Sometimes just being aware of some few general things to do will save lives and time.
In many countries around the world, the month of December constitutes one of the worst months for road traffic accidents, with more accidents happening in December alone than in the rest of the year. Why is this? There are increased cases of drunk driving, drunk pedestrians, accidents related to poor road conditions due to rain or snow and lots of other issues making road accidents more prevalent during this season
We don’t want to bring the happy holiday spirits down but we do want preserve life and reduce road accidents!
With this in mind, you can follow simple tips to ensure the holiday period continues without the tragic loss of life or serious injuries…keep safe this season to enjoy the year ahead!
I will share with you what seems to be obvious, but valuable information if used. Sometimes the information may come handy when you are in a situation
During the winter period, there is often more traffic on the roads and as drivers you should:
- Don’t drink and drive. Remember, if you’re going to a company or holiday party and plan to indulge in an alcoholic drink or two, don’t drive. Stay the night or plan a safe alternative to get home; take a cab, designate a driver, or take public transport.
- Always prepare yourself before traveling by using a serviced car that is suitable for the road. Prepare yourself for long distance travel: The vehicle needs maintenance and the driver needs plenty of rest and hydration to function at his or her best. If you feel drowsy, pull over and wait until you are more alert.
- Wear your seatbelt. That bulky winter coat may not quite fit under your seatbelt, but police are watching for every infraction. Always buckle up – otherwise you could get a ticket. You’ll also be safer if you happen to have an accident in the inclement weather conditions that prevail during the holiday season.
- Watch for emergency vehicles. In an emergency, every second counts. When you hear a siren, be sure to pull off to the side of the road to allow the ambulance, police car or fire brigade to pass. If you’re driving on a motorway/highway and see an emergency vehicle with flashing lights parked off to the side, move over to the right if it is safe to do so, to leave a safe space around the vehicle.
- Ensure your car is fit for the road, check your battery and anti-freeze levels, wipers
- Think about your journey before you leave and incorporate rest breaks to combat fatigue.
- During bad weather conditions, you should be prepared in case of a breakdown with extra clothing, blanket, shovel, ice scrapper, torch and so forth
- Always follow your nation’s safety rules in case of a breakdown
- Leave extra distance from vehicles in bad driving conditions (icy, rainy, muddy etc)
- Leave extra time for your journey and drive slower in bad driving conditions
- Do not cut in front of large trucks. Remember, trucks are heavier and take longer to respond or stop
- Be aware of truck blind spots: Trucks deliver all of your favourite holiday traditions. Pass on the right where the truck’s blind spot is much smaller.
- Slow Down: Chances of a crash nearly triple when driving faster than surrounding traffic. Skidding becomes more likely at increased speeds, especially on icy roads.
Whether you are a driver or not, you can increase your safety by ensuring:
- As a pedestrian, using reflective clothing in reduced light conditions and not being distracted
- As a bicycle rider, ensuring you can be seen and always wear a helmet
- The driver never speeds and observes the safety rules
- All occupants of the car wear a seat belt
- The driver never drives tired and encourage regular breaks from driving
- The driver is not distracted
- Never ever drink and drive or drive under the influence of drugs.