The festive season holidays are in full swing and as you and your family are probably preparing for that long road trip to Durban, this is one of the few times where they can visit family or go on that much-needed beach holiday. Thousands of travellers flock to holiday destinations and tourist attractions around the country in their efforts to escape from the big cities. However, as is typical of the silly season, we’ve been seeing an increase in the number of car accidents.
Every year, thousands of South Africans leave their homes in search of relaxation and some much-needed rest; unfortunately, not all make the return trip. Several people opt to fly as opposed to driving to their holiday destinations since the December holiday is regarded by many as one of the most dangerous times to be on the roads. We’ve seen many lose their lives due to road accidents, some of which were caused by drunk drivers.
How to Stay Alive in December
Reckless driving and speeding are some of the reasons behind the staggering numbers of accidents on the road. According to the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) annual festive season reports, the 2016/2017 festive road fatalities were the highest in the past five years with 2, 006 recorded fatalities during that festive season. Blade Nzimande, Minister of transport, issued the preliminary Festive Season Road Safety report, which documented 1,612 road fatalities from December 1st till January 8th of 2018/2019.
Accidents on the road are a given, even with the road safety programmes enforced by government departments, the death tolls continue to rise. According to The World Health Organisation’s Global Status Report on Road Safety, which was released in December, 58% of road traffic deaths in South Africa involved alcohol and that the seat-belt wearing rate was 38% for drivers and 31% for front-seated passengers. When an unexpected death occurs in the family, it’s important to be prepared with funeral cover.
Road Safety Tips for The Festive Season
- Make sure you give yourself enough time to reach your destination.
- Make sure you get enough rest before you embark on your journey.
- Always take breaks every 2 hours or 200km. Stretch, walk around a bit and have an energy drink between stops.
- Always carry your driver’s license with you.
- Check that your vehicle is in a roadworthy state before your trips.
- Do not overload your car and avoid driving at night.
- Don’t drink and drive.
- Always wear your seat belt and make sure that everyone in the car is wearing theirs.
- Drive with your lights on and always stay within the appropriate speed limit.
- Exercise safety at all times when overtaking.
- Don’t text and drive as these can distract you from the road.
The JMPD continues to introduce measures to curb festive season road accidents. Motorists can expect to see more blue lights along with their holiday drives. It's important to make sure that your family remains safe and injury-free throughout the holidays. These safety tips can help you to potentially avoid car accidents in December thus making sure that you get your destination and back safely. Happy holidays!