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Keep yourself safe this festive period

08.12.2016

I have to say, writing an article about the festive period and the potential dangers that the use of our nation’s roads poses to drivers each year is quite a depressing thing for me. I find myself writing this thinking about all se the senseless lives lost in years past and unfortunately, the lives that will likely be lost this season.

It’s not all doom and gloom though, in fact, as we discovered recently, Doom can actually be quite a good thing, right? On a serious note though, this silly season is really for rest, relaxation and time with family and friends. Bearing this in mind, keeping you and your family safe is literally the most important thing you could do this year.

Road safety expert and MD of MasterDrive, Eugene Hebert, has compiled a list of festive period survival tips when driving. Among these tips is to emphasise that distracted driving accounts for many accidents each year.

In case you’re unfamiliar with what constitutes distracted driving, pretty much everything a driver does behind the wheel besides driving. Texting, chatting on the phone, eating drinking, attending to children and so forth are all example of distracted driving.

Herbert has some advice regarding the handling of children during longer trips. “If you are comfortable driving during early hours of the morning, consider leaving early so the kids sleep through the first few hours of the journey. Then plan a couple of activities once they wake up.” he says.

These activities include DVDs, smartphones, tablets with games loaded, crafts for children and of course breaks, which the driver and children both need.

Herbert has even warned of the dangers of unhealthy eating during the period, stressing the fact that, “Unhealthy foods cause fatigue, lower concentration levels and affect your ability to avoid and respond to emergency situations. Choose proteins, healthy fats and fruits and vegetables like eggs, bite-size pieces of chicken, carrot sticks, grapes and nuts".

Then of course, there is the necessary checks one needs to perform on their vehicle before considering a long-distance journey. "Check if your shocks are worn, ensure yearly wheel alignment has been completed and check if your spare wheel is in good condition. These are just a few of the things to check before embarking. Many fitment centers provide checks and replacements at affordable prices," says Herbert.

Also ensure that your brakes are in a good working order and remember to adjust your tyre pressure according to your load. Also make sure that your windscreen wipers are in working order and that your oil, coolant and window washer fluid is checked before departing on your journey.

Then we come to some of the more obvious precautions over this period. It goes without saying that drinking and driving is not a good idea ever, but it is especially dangerous at this time of the year. Law enforcement agencies have already started implementing a crack-down on not only drunk drivers but unroadworthy vehicles, speeding and other forms of reckless driving.

For those wanting to avoid irresponsible people on the roads remember that most accidents happen on a Friday and Saturday night, so over this period try and stay off of the roads at night, if possible, also check for drunk pedestrians, those who skip red traffic lights/stop signs and remain vigilant at all times.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our readers for your continued support and interaction with us over the course of 2016 and in years past. I wish all of you a fantastic festive period and a prosperous new year.

Yours in motoring
Sean Nurse

Article written by Sean Nurse
08.12.2016
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