As the Easter long-weekend approaches, many families will be planning short vacations across South Africa to get away and spend quality time with each other. Sadly, Easter is also a turbulent time on South African roads with many crashes and fatalities over this period. This year, Easter begins on Friday, 15 April and ends on Monday, 18 April.
The Automobile Association (AA) urges all road users to obey the rules of the road, to be courteous to each other, and to arrive safely at their destinations and back home again.
“Given the increase in traffic on main routes during the long-weekend, there is always a spike in crashes and fatalities on our roads during this time. It’s important for all road users – motorists, motorcyclists, and pedestrians – to remain focussed on the road and to obey the rules for their own, and others’ safety, on the road,” says the AA.
The Association offers the following tips for road users over the Easter period:
- Ensure your car is good working condition and that all the parts of the vehicles are functioning as they should
- Tyres are a critical safety feature on vehicles (including those on trailers and caravans and including all spare tyres). Ensure all tyres are in good condition and that they have sufficient tread for your journey. Also ensure you have all the tools to change a flat tyre just in case you might need to. Check that all correctly inflated (check the owner’s manual for guidance) and that your tyres are balanced and aligned.
- Check your wiper blades (front and back) to ensure they function properly.
- Plan your route. Know where and how often you will stop on your journey (at least every two hours or every 200kms), how many times you will need to fuel up, and if you will need overnight accommodation.
- Roads can be congested over the holiday period with everyone trying to get to their different destinations. Leave earlier or later for your destination to avoid holiday traffic if you can.
- It’s always easier to travel with more than one driver to alternate driving duty. If that is not possible, stop to refresh, stretch your legs, and to get some fresh air.
- Remember the rules of the road apply even if you are on holiday. Be courteous and patient with everyone that you share the road with.
- Make sure that your insurance and membership fees are paid up in case you need to make that emergency call.
- If no one will be home while you go on holiday. Make sure that there is adequate security so that all your belongings are still there when you come back. For added peace of mind, subscribe to https://aa.co.za/aa-armed-response/ to protect you and your family.
“Easter is an important time of the year for many South Africans and should be a time of joy and celebration. We must all work together to ensure this time is not marred by poor road behaviour,” the AA concludes.