School’s out and if you’re planning to hit the road with the kiddo’s over the festive season, good choice!

After a year of hard work, family road trips rule when the alternative is shelling out for plane tickets for your entire brood. Okay, so we know, road tripping with the family is NOT for the faint hearted! You need to know that the incessant “Are we there yet?” or the idle threat “Don’t make me turn this car around!” will be part of your journey, always. But, a family road trip is really all about those classic moments anyway, right?

For most South Africans the 14 000 plus road deaths annually seem remote and a problem they believe they won’t be part of. But, this time of the year is notorious for road accidents. A report issued by the World Health Organization in 2010 shows that South Africa has one of the world’s poorest road safety records. In fact, a total of 767 people have been killed on South African roads during December 2018.

Major routes to Polokwane, KwaZulu Natal and the Eastern and Western Cape are expected to be busy over this period and trying to get to your destination in record time is irresponsible and unnecessary.

So, before piling your bags into the jalopy, keep these safety tips in mind:

  • Stick to major routes. Plan refuelling, rests and overnight stops.
  • Ensure that your car is in good mechanical condition. Check coolant, fluids and oil as well as the spare tyre.
  • Invest in a good pair of sunglasses to keep the sun’s glare from impairing your vision.
  • Check your licence. You can face hefty penalties if your licence is no longer valid.
  • Get a good night sleep the night before. At least 6 hours is recommended (but we won’t hold 10 against you!)
  • Always ensure that a friend or family member, who is not travelling with you, is aware that you plan to travel. Let them know when you’ve reached your destination safely.
  • Maintain your chill. There will be major traffic, roll with it.
  • Boredom can cause fatigue. Have sing-alongs or listen to podcasts or audio books.
  • Stop every 200 km to get some fresh air. If you’re tired, get someone else to take over the wheel while you chill out.
  • Be vigilant. Don’t assume that other drivers will do what they are supposed to.
  • Stick to the basics: Buckle up and make sure that kids are safely in their car seats. Don’t drink and drive, stick to the speed limit, only overtake others when it’s safe to do so, drive with your lights on, maintain a safe following distance and never use your cell phone while driving.
  • Be prepared for an emergency. Carry an emergency kit and have emergency numbers handy.
  • Avoid stopping in remote areas.

The majority of accidents that occur on our roads are caused by human error. Don’t become another statistic.

Have a safe and happy festive season!


DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.