Reduce the risk of a car accident in winter (and in general)
Posted on 27 July 2018
The sad reality is that South Africa has one of the highest rates of road deaths in the world. Poor vehicle maintenance and human error increase the chance you’ll be involved in an accident. Here are the most common hazards – and how to deal with them.
When driving in bad weather conditions, you can protect yourself and your passengers by slowing down and maintaining a generous distance from the vehicle in front of you.
Vinny Pillay, a senior ER24 paramedic suggests that, where possible, you should avoid travelling after dark. “Make sure your vehicle is roadworthy before embarking on a long journey,” he urges
In addition, ensure you regularly:
- Examine your tyre tread and pressure
- Check that your vehicle’s lights are operational
- Check that your windscreen wipers are working
- Test your battery
Drowsiness and poor concentration impede your reaction times, which makes it difficult to react appropriately in emergency situations. Take regular breaks when travelling over long distances to ensure you remain alert behind the wheel.
Pillay adds that if you break down on the freeway, stay in your car and wait for help. “Getting out of your vehicle may increase your risk of being hit by another vehicle and/or becoming a victim of criminal elements,” he says. “Call emergency services and make sure you put your hazard lights on so you are visible to other road users.”
Your emergency kit should include the following:
- cellphone charger
- blanket and warm clothes
- reflective vest and triangles
- jumper cables
- first aid kit
water and snacks