Easter weekend (April 14-17) is going to be one of the busiest weekends on the road and it pays to know a few things in advance to ensure that you arrive at your destination safely.
Surf4cars has put together some tips to ensure that you and your family travel as safely as possible on the roads.
The AA recommends that road users have a detailed route planned for their trip and that drivers stop for a break every two hours or 200km. High crash- and death-rates have been reported during the Easter holidays so be vigilant and alert on the road.
The Google app will ensure you travel in the most efficient way possible by plotting your route from beginning to end (through Google Maps), letting you know where and when to avoid traffic, and informing you about public transport departure/arrival times.
Check Tyres Before Travel
Pay close attention to tyre pressure. Tyre pressures can dip when the car is left to stand for a while, so you might need to top them up. Also, if you are travelling with more passengers and luggage than normal, it’s a good idea to pump your tyres to a higher pressure. Your car’s manual should detail recommended tyre pressures when carrying heavy loads.
Watch The Weather
Rain is liable to cause lengthy tailbacks, as drivers slow to avoid dangerous puddles and spray. If it’s forecast rain at your time of departure, double your journey time and expect delays.
Checking your cars fluid levels takes five minutes, and it could save your Easter holiday. Run out of any of these on the road and you will almost certainly have a break down.
Keep Your Eyes On The Road
A ‘quick’ SMS or phone call or a change of radio stations takes your mind and eyes off the road. The mobile phone is one of the biggest distractions to drivers because it demands full attention: visual, manual, and cognitive, and causes you to take your eyes off the road, hands off the steering wheel, and your mind off the road. For every second we take our eyes and minds off the road, we lose one second in our average reaction and stopping time. Avoid being distracted. Focus on the task at hand: driving safely.
One of the main causes of road crashes is fatigue. There are various reasons for fatigue-related road crashes including sleep deprivation, sleeping disorders, time of day that you are driving and travelling long distances without a break. It is important for drivers and their travel companions to be able to identify signs of fatigue, which may include sore eyes, nodding off, constant yawning, drifting over lanes, slow reactions and trouble keeping the head upright.
Break Up Your Journey
Plan to drive for over three hours, and you should break up your journey so you do not nod off or cramp up behind the wheel. So make sure to take a break every two hours.