I-Pledge challenges us to take a closer look at those unsafe behaviours that have become dangerous second nature.
Top 10 tips for safer, friendlier Roads
1 Take the I-Pledge for safer, friendlier roads at www.ipledge.co.za.
2 Make sure your car is in good condition at least two weeks before your holiday. Check the condition and inflation of your tyres, the valve caps, brakes and windscreen and wiper blades. Check your headlights, indicators and brake lights. If something is not working, get it fixed before you leave.
3 Wear your seatbelts for the entire journey. This should be a non-negotiable, especially with babies and children as they are at higher risk in the event of a collision. Make sure the restraints are appropriate for the child’s age. If an unrestrained child of 10kgs (for example, a mother holding a baby in her arms or a child standing on the backseat) is involved in a crash at 40km/h, the child would exert a force of 300kg. This will most likely be fatal or cause serious and permanent injury.
4 Do not speed and always maintain a safe following distance of at least three seconds.
5 Be visible – day and night – by driving with your headlights on. If you are walking or cycling, wear bright and reflective clothing.
6 Don’t drink and drive, at all. It’s just not worth it. Appoint a designated driver or make use of a taxi service.
7 Do not overload your vehicles – neither with luggage nor passengers. The number of seatbelts in a vehicle is a good indicator of how many people should be in your car.
8 Avoid being distracted by your phone, changing the radio or speaking to passengers. Focus on the task at hand: driving safely. For every second we take our eyes and minds off the road, we lose one second in our average reaction and stopping time.
9 Fight fatigue and take a break – every two hours or 200km.
10 Adjust your driving to changing weather or light conditions, road conditions such as hills and bends and busy pedestrian areas. Do not overtake on blind rises or corners.
You can make the following I-Pledges or write your own:
• I will not talk on the phone or SMS while driving.
• I will keep to the speed limit.
• I will not give in to road rage.
• I will not drink and drive.
• I will always wear my safety belt.
• I will only use the zebra crossing.