The Easter holidays are around the corner and many people will be taking to the roads for a refreshing, relaxing getaway over the long weekend. Ensure your holiday is all fun and no drama with these Avis-approved tips to get to your destination as safely and efficiently as possible.
Do your pre-trip checks
We often overlook this on our city drives, but there’s no room for laziness on cross-country journeys. The minimum legal tyre tread depth is 1.6 mm – so check your tyres at a tyre outlet and replace them if they show any sign of wear. Check your vehicle’s fluid levels when you fill up - engine oil, coolant/antifreeze and screen wash. They’re key to safe driving.
Slow and steady wins the race
Speeding is unsafe, irresponsible and a sure way to risk lives. Under the new Aarto1 licence demerit system, exceeding the speed limit will cost up to six demerit points with a fine of up to R1 250. With the new system, every point exceeding 12 results in a three-month suspension of your licence. There’s no room for error!
Get the thumbs-up at traffic stops
On a long trip over the holiday season, you’re almost guaranteed to pass a traffic stop or a roadblock at some stage. Ensure you get waved through by the traffic officials by:
• Ensuring your driver’s and car licence are up to date. An unlicensed vehicle can be deemed unroadworthy may be impounded, Under the new system, if you’re caught driving without a licence for the third time, you’ll be arrested.
• Buckling up. Seat belts save lives and it is law to wear them. Unbuckled passengers or drivers are at risk of serious injury. Ensure children are always properly buckled in the back seat in a car seat, booster seat, or seat belt, whichever is appropriate for their weight, height, and age. Avis stocks a range of quality baby, child and booster seats to fit the younger members of your family.
• Driving fresh, focused and sober. If you’re that way inclined, save the drinks for your destination. Driving impaired – whether by liquor or drugs, or through recklessness, endangers your passengers and other road users.
Drive without distractions
In 2018, the human factor was a cause in 89.5% of crashes2. Children can be a distraction for drivers, especially if they’re bored. Keep your kids occupied with a book, game or a device – and make sure they’re strapped in at all times. Keep your hands-free device connected, so you can answer calls without touching your cellphone while driving. Let family members and close friends know before your trip that you will be driving and cannot text them.
Keep a First-Aid Kit in the car
A well-stocked first-aid kit can save lives3.. Your kit should contain different-sized gauze pads; a box of adhesive bandages; one gauze roller bandage; two triangular bandages; wound-cleaning agent; a pair of scissors; at least one blanket; a pair of tweezers; adhesive tape; latex gloves; resuscitation equipment such as resuscitation bag, or airway or pocket mask; two elastic wraps and a splint.
Take a break before your eyelids droop
On a long-distance trip, it’s recommended you take a break every two hours or 200km. Don’t just wait until you feel tired – schedule regular rest stops to avoid fatigue. You will get tired no matter how many energy drinks you glug, so take breaks at service stations to fill up your petrol tank and your belly, to have some rest and to stretch your legs.
“Our customers’ safety is priority,” said Rainer Gottschick, Chief Executive of Avis Rent a Car. “We encourage all drivers to drive responsibly these holidays, and we wish everyone travelling during the Easter season a safe trip.”