Cape Town - For most people, the festive season is spent with family and friends, taking that much needed break after a long and busy year.

However, the reality is that the festive season is also one of the busiest months on the roads resulting in not only a number of road crashes, but the perfect opportunity for criminals to tick of their own wish lists, while people begin to unwind, relax and become less vigilant.

This is why it is important that consumers consider all the necessary preventative measures in order to protect their family this holiday season.

In light of this, Matrix and IMPERIAL Road Safety are giving all road users a few travel tips to keep in mind before making their way to their various holiday destinations.

They also provide various types of technologies that enable road users to adopt safer driving behaviour in order to protect their families against crime and road crashes.

A combination of technology and self-awareness can really make a difference to one's safety this festive season - providing peace of mind and the ability to enjoy a care-free holiday.

Geo-fencing - you can set up personal safety zones that indicates whether you are driving in a dangerous area, in and around your holiday destination, or as you make your way to your destination.

GPS Pinpoint technology - enabling you, or any one of your family members, to view the exact location of your vehicle, on a map, via a smartphone or computer. Should you be in any kind of danger, GPS pinpoint positioning makes it possible for emergency medical and roadside assistance to be dispatched to the exact location of your vehicle.

Roadside assistance - should you break down next to the road, roadside and medical assistance can be dispatched immediately, preventing you and your family from being targets for criminals next to the road.

Crash alerts - should a major road crash occur, an alert will instantaneously be sent to an Operations Centre where the relevant medical assistance will be dispatched to your exact location.

Real-time vehicle monitoring - your vehicle can be monitored via your mobile phone, no matter if you are in your vehicle or not, making it easy for you to have real-time sight of your vehicle at all times.

Early warning alerts - you can receive 'early warnings' of any unauthorised movement of your vehicle, should you quickly pop into a shop or have dinner at a restaurant

Says Niki Cronje, group Marketing at Imperial, “Road safety starts with each and every one of us and of course, while technology is very helpful, it can't just stop here. Road safety is very much about changing one's own behaviour and making sure that proactive steps are taken before, and while travelling.”

Here are a few tips around road safety that you can apply this festive season:

* Ensure you take your vehicle for a complete check-up at least two weeks before you depart for vacation to ensure all critical elements such as brakes, engine, etc. are in full working order

* Wear your safety belt at all times

* Strap your children into a weight and height appropriate car seat

* Do not speed and remember to keep a safe following distance

* Never overtake on a blind rise or on a corner

* Make sure that you are always visible, by driving with your headlights on, even during the day

* Adjust your driving to suit weather, road surface or traffic flow conditions

* Always drive a good 20km per hour slower at night

* Stay alert by getting a good night's rest before a long journey and take a break every two hours or 200 kilometres

* Never drink and drive!

Adapted from a press release for IOL