While domestic travel is up in the air, those planning a road trip should be cautious on the road.
Statistics compiled by the Department of Transport (DoT) annually show that excessive speed, unsafe overtaking, driving under the influence of alcohol, overloading, driving with tyres that don’t meet roadworthy standards and general disregard of the rules of the road were among the road fatalities.
South African Insurance Association (Saia) CEO Viviene Pearson urged road users to obey traffic laws and to be vigilant on the roads this festive season.
Pearson said insurance was vital.
“Travel restrictions have eased, and interprovincial travel is now allowed. As a result, we are likely to see a strong increase in road use in the coming weeks. Motor insurance policyholders should get in touch with their broker or insurance company to ensure that they have adequate insurance cover.
"Also, motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians during this holiday season should exercise extreme caution on the road, be patient with other road users and adhere to the prescribed rules of the road. As a driver and a vehicle owner, it remains imperative that one ensures that one’s vehicle is mechanically sound and has been checked by a qualified hand before embarking on a road trip.
“We also urge all South Africans to be responsible in terms of Covid-19, continue to wear your masks properly, and remember to keep the necessary social distance so that you minimise any unnecessary exposure to the virus to yourself and your family. Let us all observe the regulations and preserve lives,” added Pearson.
She shares some road trip tips:
- Keep your insurance premiums up to date.
- Have your policy number and 24 hour road assistance number handy in case of an emergency.
- Do not drink and drive.
- Do not text or talk on your cellphone while driving.
- Be on the lookout for pedestrians.
- Remember to advise your insurance company if you are travelling outside of South Africa.
- Ensure your vehicle is roadworthy and the tyres are in good condition.
- Check if your spare wheel is in good condition and that you have a wheel-spanner and jack.
- Check if your wipers are in good working order.
- Rest after every two hours of driving.