While accommodation plans have been finalised, tours have been organised and outings have been planned, many people have not taken care of one of the most crucial parts of their holiday plans: their vehicle.
It is important that you have a reliable vehicle that is able to carry you and your family safely to and from your holiday destination. The Automobile Association recommends that motorists ensure their vehicles are serviced ahead of any long trip, and that drivers are well rested and alert before embarking on any journey.
In addition, the AA recommends that motorists ensure:
- All tyres are in good condition and conform to regulations (including the spare tyre)
- That brakes and shock absorbers are tested and in good condition
- That the battery is still in good condition
- That the windscreen wipers are in good working condition
- All windows and mirrors provide good visibility
- All electrical components (including lights and indicators) are working and, if you are towing a caravan, trailer or boat, that the electrical feed from your towbar is working
- Your AA Membership is up to date and you carry your Membership card with you
- That you have the AA Rescue App downloaded on your cellphone
The AA also recommends that motorists have a detailed route planned for their trip and that drivers ensure they stop for breaks every two hours or two hundred kilometres. Driver fatigue is extremely dangerous not only for the passengers and driver in one car but for all other road users.
The Easter holiday period has for many years been marred by high accident and death rates on South African roads and it is important that motorists remain vigilant and alert during their journey. Adhering to the speed limits and maintaining a safe following distance are important, as is ensuring all passengers are properly buckled in.
While the Easter weekend begins on Friday, 3 April, the Inland School term ends on 25 March which will lead to an increase in traffic volumes on the N3 and N4 and the N1 and N2 to Cape Town. The N1 to Limpopo will be especially busy on the days before Good Friday as members of the ZCC head to Moria for their annual pilgrimage.
Motorists need to be aware of the expected heavier traffic volumes on these days and on the days before 13 April when Inland Schools resume for their second term.
Apart from ensuring their cars are in good condition before going on holiday, motorists should also adhere to all the rules of the road and drive sober at all times. Also remember to drive with your Driverís Licence with you to remain compliant with law enforcement in the event that you are requested to produce it.