Cars travelling down the N1, one of the main roads in South Africa. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

As we all get ready to return to our daily routines again, it has become even more important for road users to travel responsibly. Whether you are travelling across South Africa or enjoying time out on home ground, it is always good to make travelling as safe as possible for everyone using the road.
“We focus on promoting making the road safe for all users – from cyclists and pedestrians to passengers and drivers, by encouraging vigilance and caution on the road,” says Eugene Beck, CEO of RoadCover.
Wherever you may be travelling from these holidays, here are 5 top road tips to help make sure you arrive safely at your destination:

Whether you are travelling near or far, always keep the following in mind:
·         Plan your route:  Know where you are going and how to get there. This will avoid confusion and keep you out of harm’s way when using a GPS or smart phone.
·         Car maintenance:  Checking your tyre pressure, car levels such as water, oil and brake fluid and cleaning your windscreen helps you and your car. Before a long journey make sure your vehicle is roadworthy and that the scheduled services are up to date.
·         Self-maintenance:  Many families leave at the crack of dawn to travel down to the coast to beat the rush hour traffic.  Before embarking on your trip, make sure you have enough sleep and never drink under the influence of alcohol.
·         Practise defensive driving.  This means studying the road conditions as well as your surroundings such at vehicles, pedestrians and any potential obstacles such as road works, a stationery vehicle or even potholes.
·         Being aware of your surroundings will help you react quickly in time and on time which can often mean avoiding an accident.
·         When traveling aboard make sure you are aware of the rules of the road. Speed limits change and some countries drive on the other side of the road.
Rules of the Road
It is important to keep in mind that there are many people using the road:  drivers, pedestrians, cyclists and motorbikes.  We all share the road with each other and respecting the rules of the road is important for us all and can play a significant role in keeping the road safe for all users.
Avoid travelling alone.  If you have no choice, then let someone know your intended destination. If you are walking at night, then it is best to wear light-coloured clothing and to walk in well-lit areas and in a group so that you are more visible.
Road etiquette

Try not to get upset over something over which you have no control.  Be kind to road users and when someone gives you a gap, give them a friendly smile or wave.
“Our aim is to make a difference in people’s lives,” says Beck.  “All life is precious and we can use each moment to make the most of it. Holidays allow you to relax and spend precious time with  loved ones. Let’s take care of one another by making the road a safer place for us all,” concludes Beck.
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