The festive season should be a jolly and a happy occasion not one spent remembering loved ones lost in tragic highway crashes. We cannot stress enough how important it is to be safe on the roads especially for truckers who operate heavy vehicles. In order to be safe you need to understand and practice road safety at all times.

Our roads become exceedingly busy during the festive season and that is one of the biggest causes for the yearly rise in road accident statistics. I’m sure we all remember so vividly of the truck accident that took place a few years ago in Pinetown in Kwa-Zulu Natal. It was a tragic and unfortunate scenario but definitely one that could have been avoided. It’s possible for drivers to avoid all the fatalities by following a few simple road rules. Here are a few road safety tips that drivers can consider to avoid any road tragedies:

  • Prepare your vehicle for long distance- make sure that your car is road worthy. Have the breaks, shocks and other minor technicalities checked. There is nothing too small when it comes to ensuring safety.
  • Plan your route in advance-this way you are prepared and are familiar with the road you are
  • going to take. Familiarize yourself with the route so that you are able to plan all your stopsand resting points.
  • Do not cut in front of large trucks- if you are driving a smaller vehicle, you need to take into
  • consideration that larger trucks take longer to turn due to their size and weight so alwaysallow enough space for that.
  • Take along a travel emergency kit-this kit could include anything from a bandage to a
  • blanket. You can never be too prepared.
  • Be mindful and aware of weather changes- try to get a projected weather forecast for all
  • the provinces/countries along your route, that way you are fully prepared for any drasticweather changes.
  • Avoid distractions while driving- cell phones, maps, music players etc, all of these can be
  • forms of distractions while driving during the busy season. If you have to recheck your map,
  • rather park and have a proper look at it because trying to multitask you could end up smack
  • bang in the back of the vehicle in front of you.
  • Leave extra driving space between you and the car in front of you- you can never know
  • what another driver is thinking or what they see or do not see, therefore avoid tagging too
  • close behind a car in case they decide to make an unexpected stop.
  • Avoid speeding-need I say more?
  • Always wear your seat belt

Just by sticking to a few of these pointers you could be saving yourself a lot of stress and trouble as a trucker and also ensuring that your safety and the safety of other road users is not at risk during the festive season.

By Noni Nchwe