4 expert tips to help you travel safely this Easter

A young woman enjoys the pleasure of travelling and being on the open road. Picture: Unsplash

A young woman enjoys the pleasure of travelling and being on the open road. Picture: Unsplash

Published Mar 28, 2024


March will see thousands of families hit the road to enjoy the chance to relax and recharge over the Easter holidays and the many long weekends. According to statistics, the number of Easter road fatalities increased by 37% from 184 in 2022 to 252 in 2023.

The data also revealed that the North West and Western Cape were the only provinces that recorded a decrease in fatalities at 50% and 34% respectively during Easter 2023, while the highest increase was KwaZulu-Natal at 132% followed by Free State at 122%.

To prevent road fatalities, there are basic safety steps that drivers should remember to ensure that they and their passengers reach their destinations safely.

Here are four safety tips to consider before hitting the road, according to Fidelity Services Group CEO Wahl Bartmann.

Practise safe driving habits

Bartmann highlighted that too many lives are lost on South African roads every month due to reckless driving or excessive speeding and therefore vigilance on the road is needed.

“You can make a massive difference by buckling up, by driving at safe speeds, and by never operating a vehicle while intoxicated. Being aware of safe driving habits can bring down the country’s accident and fatality rate,” said Bartmann.

Keep your eyes on the road

To prevent road fatalities, Bartmann advised travellers to not use their cellphone or send texts while driving.

“We recommend you avoid any kind of distraction that takes your eyes and concentration away from the road,” highlighted the CEO.

Vehicle safety

He also said that it is important to test the vehicle’s roadworthiness before you set off on any longer journey.

“Many accidents are caused by bursting tyres or other aspects that could have been picked up by you or a mechanic. Badly worn tyres pose a definite safety risk, especially when driving on wet or slippery roads,” said Bartmann.

Install a tracker on your car

The CEO highlighted that any driver operating a vehicle on South African roads will have to give thought to the installation of a vehicle-tracking system.

“It is a sad reality that many vehicles get hijacked every day. The Q3 crime stats released by the SAPS recently showed that around 66 cars are hijacked daily – an increase of 6.5% on the same period in 2022.

“The provinces of Gauteng, the Western Cape, and the North West saw noticeable increases in hijackings,” said Bartmann.

He said that vehicle telematics systems and car trackers such Fidelity SecureDrive offer real-time tracking of a vehicle’s movements.

“If anyone has gained unauthorised access to your vehicle, it is a valuable resource that can help locating the car once it has been stolen or hijacked. It could also help parents monitor the driving habits of their children to ensure good driving behaviour.”

Bartmann said that an added benefit to this is that your family members who stay behind at home could also track your movement to give them the ease of knowing where you are and whether you reached your destination.

“Safe driving starts with awareness and preparedness. As a driver, you have the responsibility for the safety of those who share the road with you,” said Bartmann.