Be sure to take all the necessary safety measures before your next road trip. Picture: Make My Trip.
Be sure to take all the necessary safety measures before your next road trip. Picture: Make My Trip.

Travelling by car this long weekend? Here's what you should know before hitting the road

By Travel Reporter Time of article published Mar 31, 2021

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Opting for a road trip this holiday? Well, there are some things you should know.

Marius Neethling, underwriting manager: Personal Lines at Santam, said while a road trip is the best way to explore, it also means that there will be more cars on the road, and more risk of accidents.

Neethling said if you are going to be driving long distances, ensure your car is in tiptop condition, especially if you are driving in unfavourable weather conditions. “Ensure that wheel alignment and balancing have been carried out, your tyres are in top condition, and the tyre tread is within the legal limit. Don’t forget to check your spare wheel.

“Ensure that your windscreen is free of cracks and stone chips, which can influence your visibility. Your front and rear wipers should be in a good working order to clear rain and debris from the glass,” he said.

He also recommended travellers book a service a few days before the trip for added peace of mind – if they haven't yet already done so.

Safety is equally important.

“Invest in a first-aid kit to help you deal with road trip headaches like motion sickness and small cuts. A torch, glow-in-the-dark triangles and plenty of water and wet wipes are always handy things to carry with you in the car.

“Deciding beforehand which routes to take and at which spots to rest will make your drive a less stressful experience, especially if you have little ones in the car. Don’t try to cover too much distance in one day – tiredness and lack of concentration often lead to accidents,” he said.

Neethling said travellers should always wear a safety belt.

“Always expect the unexpected. Advanced driving instructors will always tell you to think and look as far ahead as possible, anticipating what fellow drivers – and pedestrians – might do next. Never disobey the speed limit and keep a safe following distance. Be on the lookout for obstructions like potholes or animals, especially in rural areas,” he added.

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