Dec 20, 2013

Driver Safety over the holiday period

This popped in my mailbox today...thought would be useful to share.

 Merry Xmas Pips

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With the holiday period approaching, here’s a timely reminder to ‘think safe’ on our roads. Follow these simple tips to ensure you and your family get to and from your destination as safe as possible.  

Before heading off:
Prepare your car
ü  Make sure your car has been serviced. 
ü  Check you tyres for wear and tear and make sure your tyre pressures are at the recommended rate. This includes any trailers, boats or caravans. If towing a trailer, boat or caravan, make sure the towbar is suitable for the load. 
ü  Store your luggage properly in the boot, behind a cargo barrier or securely on roof racks so that it won’t become a projectile should you need to brake suddenly.

National and International research has identified five major factors that cause most road deaths and serious injuries:
1. Drink Driving - Don’t Drink and Drive
ü  Avoid drinking alcohol before or during the trip. Alcohol reduces your concentration, reaction times and ability to handle your vehicle.

2. Stick to the speed limit
Speed affects both the risk of an accident and the severity of the outcome. The greater the speed, the greater the distance needed to stop, the greater the impact on stopping and the greater the risk of losing control of your vehicle. Assess the road conditions and tailor your speed accordingly, but always stick to the speed limit.

3. Don’t drive when you are tired
ü  Get a good night’s sleep and never drive at times when you would normally be asleep.
ü  Take regular rest breaks, at least one break every two hours and make use of rest areas.
ü  Share the driving or pull over for a powernap (15 minutes) as soon as you feel tired. Driver fatigue and tiredness can be just as deadly as drink driving or speeding.

4. Concentrate on Driving - Avoid distractions
ü  Use hands free kits with mobile phone and keep calls to a minimum or stop the car to make a call. Make internal adjustments prior to departing and ensure all mobile phone use is conducted using a hands free kit.
ü  Adjust your driving to match the road and weather conditions.
ü  Be realistic about your driving skills when towing a trailer, boat or caravan.  If you’re a little rusty, practice before you set off on your longer journey.
ü  Be patient!  Holiday periods are a particularly busy time and a little patience will help everyone arrive at their destination safely.

5. Wear your seatbelt
Research shows that seatbelts and child restraints double the chances of survival in a serious crash.  Make sure you have sufficient seatbelts for the number of passengers and always transport young children in approved child restrain devices.