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Six tips to stay safe on the roads this Easter

18 April 2019 King Price

If you’re planning to hit the road this Easter holiday, stay off the booze and get enough sleep.

The World Health Organisation's Global Status Report on Road Safety, released in December 2018, suggests that as many as 58% of road traffic deaths in SA involved alcohol. While there are few local statistics around the effects of driver fatigue, research from the UK-based Loughborough Sleep Research Centre suggests that as many as 1 in 5 accidents are caused by driver fatigue.

South Africa’s traffic authorities will be cracking down on drunk driving this year, with Transport Minister Blade Nzimande last week launching the new Evidential Breathalyser Alcohol Test (EBAT) system, which provides immediate information on a driver’s intoxication levels.

Insurer King Price’s Wynand van Vuuren says that apart from the risk of death or injury, drivers who fail (or refuse) a breathalyser test after an incident will have their claims repudiated – and will probably be re-rated, or even have their cover cancelled.

“Easter is one of the busiest times of the year for road accidents – and, unfortunately, for motor insurance claims. Last year, 518 people died on SA’s roads during Easter. If drivers do nothing but stay rested and sober, the chances are that we will be able to reduce that number significantly. If you’re hitting the road this long weekend, manage your risks by staying sober and alert, and not exceeding your limits,” said Van Vuuren.

It is critical that drivers plan ahead and make sure they are well rested before embarking on their journeys, he says.

King Price’s Easter long weekend road safety tips:

• Don’t drink. This sounds obvious. But the numbers show how many people ignore this basic advice at a terrible cost.
• Don’t drive tired. Get a good night's sleep before you set off. Don't leave your packing until the night before. Take a break, or even better, change drivers every two hours.
• Don’t drive at unusual times. Don’t start your trip after a day’s work, or try and drive through the night to score a few extra hours at the coast. The risks aren’t worth it.
• Coffee, energy drinks and cold air don’t help. When you’re tired, your reactions can be fatally impaired. You must rest before and during a long trip.

We’ve recently partnered with Cliff Central and Pig Spotter to bring you some up to date tips on staying safe on the road, listen to the podcast here

 

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