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Easter road safety

Easter is one of the busiest periods on the road after the Festive Season. Last Easter saw an increase of 37% in road fatalities according to the RTMC. As families head out to holiday destinations for the weekend, it is essential that drivers do whatever they can to avoid another increase in statistics or becoming a statistic themselves.

Easter road safety

Avoid the peak hours

Peak travel hours over the weekend, include Thursday, Friday and Monday. During these times well over 3 000 cars per hour can pass through tollgates. Yet, avoiding travel on these days is difficult for obvious reasons. If driving cannot be avoided, be aware of when you are likeliest to face heavy traffic.

High traffic flow is most likely at the following times:

  • Thursday between 12:00 and 21:00
  • Friday between 06:00 and 10:00
  • Monday between 10:00 and 21:00

Easter road safetyThe CEO of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert, says adjust your leaving time to avoid these peak traffic traffic whenever possible. “More cars on the road increases your chances of encountering reckless drivers, is tiring and requires greater concentration, and increases your chances of coming across fatigued drivers or those driving under the influence.

“Choosing to drive during daylight hours a day earlier or later can help you arrive safely and make the trip less stressful. Be cautious, however, of driving at night. This is when one is most likely to encounter drivers trying to (amongst others) evade law enforcement or vehicles that are not roadworthy,” says Herbert.

Seatbelts for children

A seatbelt should never be sacrificed with children. “Every holiday period we emphasise the importance of buckling up children. Simply do not skip the seatbelt so they can lie flat on the seat or move around freely.

“In a collision your child becomes a projectile. They will lurch through the window or doors that break or open or they will be thrown into the seat in front of them. The impact of their body hitting the front seat occupant can kill the person sitting in that seat. Children must wear seatbelts, no matter how much they protest,” advises Herbert.

Drive nice, it’s contagious

During most holiday periods reckless driving, specifically speeding, plays a major role in crashes. “Do whatever you can to remove the temptation to speed or take risks. Yet, not driving recklessly yourself is not enough.

“Keep an eye out for drivers endangering others on the road. Watch out for speedsters or dangerous overtaking and quickly identify the safest course of action. This could be slowing down to create space between yourselves or moving off the road to avoid a collision. Rather let reckless drivers pass and do not engage with them, no matter your frustration levels. If you have a passenger, they should call law enforcement to protect other road users as well,” says Herbert.

If you are driving to a holiday destination this Easter, take the necessary steps to ensure you arrive safely. Ensure the weekend is one of rest, enjoyment and family time – and most importantly, one you return from.

Tristan Wiggill
Special Features Editor at Business Fleet Africa