Young family enjoying their trip

Festive season safety tips for motorists

The festive season is here, and often a time when many of us take to the road to visit loved ones. Here are some guidelines to keep you and your family safe this holiday.  

Safety on the road

According to the Department of Transport statistics released during last year’s festive season, there were 1 451 deaths on South African roads, with the Gauteng province leading with over 290 road fatalities. 

While there are various factors that contribute to road accidents and fatalities, human factor such as fatigue, reckless driving and impatience are reported to be the leading causes, resulting in most of the road accidents in South Africa.

Momentum Insure’s dedication to keeping South Africans safe goes beyond insurance. Innovative technology like distracted and fatigued driving alerts not only help keeps road users safe but instils safe driving behaviour.

Here are some tips to keep you safe for the holidays:

  • Prepare adequately – Plan your trip ahead of time to allow for pre-trip vehicle checks, as well as checks for unforeseen events like traffic conditions and bad weather. 
  • Check that your vehicle is in the optimal condition to reach your destination safely by checking the following mechanical components:
    • Tyres
    • Brakes
    • Headlights
    • Radiator
    • Vehicles’ liquid levels (oil and water)
    • Battery
    • Car jack lift, spare tyre and emergency kit

Motorists should check if their tyre tread depth is 1.6mm as prescribed by the law. If the tyre thread is below 1.6mm, then it is advisable to have the tyres replaced.

In addition to the tips shared above, motorists need to take the following into consideration while driving:

  • Stick to the speed limit. Speeding is unsafe, highly irresponsible and a sure-fire way to risk not only your life but the lives of your passengers and other road users.   
  • Always make sure you and your passengers are buckled up.
  • Keep a safe following distance, especially in bad weather conditions, to provide you with enough time to react in case of an emergency stop.
  • Avoid any interferences while driving, including using your cellphone. Rather opt for a hands-free kit. Also, ensure that, if you are travelling with children, that their mobile devices are fully charged and preloaded with content to keep them occupied during the journey. Technology like Safe Dayz from Momentum Insure, available on the Momentum App, has a built-in distracted driving feature that will alert you of distractions.
  • If you get tired, take breaks at the nearest petrol station to rest, stretch your legs, get some fresh air and something to drink. The fatigue driving alert, also on the Safe Dayz feature, sends an alert to your cellphone when it is time to take a break.

Safety at home

The following precautions will help ensure your home is not at risk while you are away:

  • Make sure your alarm system is always in working order.
  • Have emergency numbers – including details for the South African Police Service, insurance company, emergency response and your security company – visible and placed at a centralised spot such as the fridge. 

For those leaving their homes to visit family or friends:

  • Make sure all the doors in your home are locked, and easily accessible windows are closed.
  • Have somebody remove any mail that might have been placed in your mailbox – this includes any junk mail.
  • Do not close your curtains and use a time-switch to turn your lights on at random times in the evening, rather than programming them to switch on at the same time every day.

Momentum Insure hopes these tips will help keep you and your loved ones safe when travelling, and keep your most precious possessions safe, at home, for when you return. 

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