Survive the Festive Season with These eKomi Road Safety Tips
“Keep calm and drive safely.”
While the festive holidays are a time for joy, fun, and celebration, they are also a time when car accidents are more common. Increased drinking often leads to more accidents and fatalities on the roads due to distractions, traffic, and congestion.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 1.35 million people per year pass away as a result of traffic accidents. Between 20 and 50 million more people experience non-fatal injuries as a result of their accidents, with many of them developing a disability (Road traffic injuries (WHO)). It is, therefore, crucial to take some time to consider your safety on the roads as the festive season approaches.
When you drive, you are responsible for everything and everyone you pass on the road, including other motorists, pedestrians, passengers, and both inanimate and living objects. Here are some tips for the festive season to keep you safe while travelling, whether you’re going to see family and friends or taking a road trip this upcoming festive holiday.
Tip 1: Buckle Up for Safe Driving
One of the most crucial things you can do to stay safe while driving is this. If you are not wearing a seat belt when a crash occurs, your chances of losing your life increase by twofold. Being buckled up during a collision helps keep you safe and secure inside your car, whereas being thrown out of a car completely is almost always fatal. The best protection against aggressive, intoxicated, and distracted drivers is a seatbelt. Make it a routine every time you drive, even for short distances. In actual fact, if you are wearing a seatbelt, which can cut your risk of death by up to 60%, you have a much higher chance of surviving an accident.
Tip 2: Be Alert
Each year, during the festive season, unsafe driving practices and distracted driving result in thousands of collisions, losses of property, injuries, and fatalities. Many of these could be easily prevented by using more cautious driving techniques. By paying attention and remaining alert, you can take the required actions. Most importantly, drivers should develop sound sleeping habits to ensure that they begin each day with plenty of energy.
Tip 3: Avoid Distractions, ‘Driving and Multitasking Don’t Go Together.’
Driving safely demands the use of the majority, if not the entirety, of your mental capacity, even for skilled and experienced drivers. It has been demonstrated that your brain cannot perform two mentally taxing tasks at once, so it doesn’t take much for you to become distracted while driving. Distractions of all kinds can impair one’s ability to drive.
Mobile phone distraction is a growing issue for the safety of the road. Drivers who are on their phones while driving are about four times more likely to be in an accident than those who are not. Using a phone while driving impairs reaction times, particularly those related to braking and traffic signals, and makes it more challenging to maintain the proper lane and following distances. Messaging on your phone greatly raises the risk of a collision, and hands-free phones are not much safer than hand-held phone sets.
Tip 4: Try Using Apps and Tools That Minimise Distraction
We now have a plethora of ways to stay connected in the palm of our hands thanks to modern technology. This facilitates communication with friends and family, but it can also be a distraction when driving. Many people have died or sustained deadly injuries in car crashes because they engage in instant messaging while driving.
We recommend you try some safe driving apps and tools to help you drive less distracted. Some will even pay you to put your phone away while you drive. Instant messaging is just one aspect of distracted driving.
Eating while driving, navigating to the correct radio station, or turning around to tell children in the back seat to stop nuisance behaviour are all examples of distractions. ping for example is a cross-platform voice-based solution that will read your incoming messages out loud so that you can focus on the road. OnMyWay, I’m Driving, TrueMotion Family Safe Driving, and so forth are also examples of apps that one can be used to avoid distraction when on the road.
Tip 5: Drive to the Conditions for Road Safety
All drivers encounter adverse weather conditions at some point. Unfortunately, many people underestimate the modifications to the driving style that are necessary. According to statistics and research conducted in the US, 24% of all crashes take place in inclement weather, such as snow, fog, and rain. Conversely, most people are used to driving in beautiful, sunny weather most of the time in South Africa. Nonetheless, it’s always advisable that drivers understand the weather patterns in case they encounter difficulties brought on by inclement weather. It is the responsibility of the driver to be aware of how to modify his or her driving to suit the circumstances of the road.
Tip 6: Do Not Mix Drinking and Driving
Due to the fact that it increases the risk of crashes, alcohol should never be consumed while driving. In fact, driving under the influence of alcohol is dangerous. If you drink alcohol, whether it be in small amounts or not, your risks significantly increase whether you are on foot, on two wheels, or four. However, if you do, make sure you avoid mobile movement or, even better, make sure to set up alternate transportation for you and your family.
Tip 7: Drive, Don’t Fly
Research has revealed that inappropriate or excessive speed is a factor in one out of every three fatal road crashes. The risk of an accident increases with speed and the greater the chance that someone will perish in this collision. Therefore, slow down, be aware of the rules of the road, always obey the speed limit and recognise the safety of all road users. Make enough time to reach your destination. The chance of having an accident is increased at night. Allow at least a 2-second following distance and make sure your car is in a good condition so that you have a pleasant and relaxing driving experience.
Tip 8: Become a Road Champion
Finally, everyone has a responsibility to promote road safety and take steps to stop the millions of avoidable traffic fatalities that happen every day of the year, not just during the festive period. Safety champions are crucial for engaging all road users in improving road safety and creating a safety culture. Leading by example is the order of the day. Also, one of the key characteristics of a safety champion is their concern for others’ safety and ability to motivate change. They do more than just preach the value of safety while following a different set of guidelines themselves. Others are motivated to practise safety because of their pride in it.