MOTORING NEWS - The countdown is finally over, it's time for leave - to pack the car, lock up the house and head on a well deserved holiday. But when driving to a destination there are a few things to remember to ensure you get there safe and sound.
"Last year alone we have had over 1 million crashes on SA roads," says Gary Ronald, Head of Public Affairs at the AA. "All our roads are dangerous, some due to their condition and others due to the terrain through which they pass. Be especially aware of changing weather, road works and the inevitable slow moving vehicle. As the driver, start the holiday journey with the correct frame of mind and accept any delays encountered without frustration."
Ronald shares 10 key points to remember when taking to the roads this festive season:
To save fuel - try fill up as close to your trip as possible, make sure you check your tyre pressure as under-inflated tyres have more rolling resistance. This means you need to burn more fuel to keep your car moving, consider shutting off the air conditioner, opening the windows a little and enjoying the breeze and accelerate with care.
The day before the trip, inspect the car - check all the lights - head lights, brake lights, tail lights and indicators, check the windscreen for chips and cracks and make sure that the windscreen wipers work and are in good condition. Fill up the water reservoir, check the condition of all the tyres, including the spare wheel.
If it is due, have your vehicle serviced before you leave. Alternatively take your car to a DEKRA centre for a safety check
Purchase an AA Road Atlas of South Africa or an AA map to assist planning the journey. These can be purchased at Travel Experience stores, leading book shops, news agents or large retail outlets.
For peace of mind, try to travel on major routes or toll roads that have continuous traffic moving or route patrols. If you do break down, you can be assured of assistance. Keep your AA membership card in your wallet for easy access.
Check the AA website for toll roads and fees, ensuring that you have enough cash or a petrol card to pay.
Plan rest stops along the way - identifying the filling and rest stations en route. It is important to plan where to fill up with fuel, let the kids stretch their legs and enjoy some refreshment. Fatigue remains one of the biggest killers on our roads. A short rest every 200km or after every two hours of driving is recommended and if you're tired, it's simple - don't drive.
Make sure all passengers are buckled up.
If stopped by Traffic / Police Officer you have the right to ask for identification - particularly if they are not in uniform. If uncertain ask them to accompany you to nearest police station.
A wet summer is expected. "Driving in the rain is a safety hazard and drivers must be aware of the precautions they need to take, not only can they save their lives but the lives of others," continues Ronald. "We share the road with thousands of motorists and we all need to be courteous of each other," he says.
Posted on: 09:19 Wed, 21 December 2011
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