The festive season is right around the corner, which means it is almost time for holiday! The lazy summer days at the beach, getting to finish that book you never started and the excitement of exploring a new town. But you have to get to your destination first. If you have decided to take a road trip with the family, we have put together a handy guide on how to make your trip a safe and enjoyable one. It is the start of your epic holiday after all!
- First and most importantly, make sure your vehicle is roadworthy and has recently been serviced. Make sure all indicators, lights, windscreen wipers, brakes, hooters, exhausts, shock absorbers and tyres are in working order or good condition before leaving on your journey.
- Pack within your means. If you have limited space in your car, do not try and cram every empty space with a gym bag or clothes. Overloading the vehicle is dangerous. Make sure you leave enough space to see out of your back window and rearview mirror.
- Plan your route ahead of time. Allow yourself enough time to get to the destination. If you have to check in to a hotel at a specific time, make sure you get an early start, allow extra time for rest stops along the way and please remember not to rush while on the road. If you will not make it at the agreed time, call up the hotel and make arrangements for a later check-in time.
- Try to plan your trip around main toll roads if possible. These major roads are usually well maintained and have many petrol stations and rest stops along the route. If you are planning on travelling on back roads, do some research or ask a friend who has recently travelled that way what the conditions of the roads are like. Measure how many kilometres it will take from one petrol station to the next so you know exactly when to refuel or pump up your tyres.
- Do not leave packing to the last minute if you are going away for more than a few days. Last-minute packing should be done at least a day before you leave. Give yourself time to rest on the day before your trip and make sure you get an early nights sleep. You want to be well-rested and refreshed especially if you have a long journey ahead of you.
- If you are travelling with a partner, take turns driving. This will make all the difference when you have been driving for a few straight hours.
- Keep a family member who is not travelling with you posted about the journey. Let them know which towns you have passed and when you have arrived at your destination safely.
- If possible, take a break at a rest stop every two hours. Stretch your legs, splash some water on your face and be sure to drink enough water to keep you hydrated and alert.
- Clean your windscreen and side mirrors often. There are a lot of bugs waiting to hitch a ride on the open road.
- Always drive defensively and don’t expect others to be as obedient to the law as you are.
- Drive with your lights on even during the day.
- Be courteous to fellow drivers on the road, road rage and retaliation will only make things worse. Be alert at all times and let others safely overtake if they need to. It is not a race, you will all get to your destination in good time.
- In the event of unforeseen situations, have these emergency numbers on hand:
- Police: 10111
- Fire: 10177
- Ambulance: 10177
- Arrive Alive Call Centre: 0861 400 800
- Emer-G-Med: 0861 007 911
- Accident Towing: 0860 911 326
- Netcare 911: 082 911
- ER24 084 124
For more tips and advice on the roads, visit the Arrive Alive Website.
We wish you many safe and happy miles this festive season!