Road Safety
Safety tips on planning your trip

- The first priority before any trip is undertaken, is    to check vehicle safety. Motorists unsure or    concerned about the roadworthiness of their    vehicles can have a pre-holiday technical    examination done at any AA Technical Centre    throughout South Africa, at a nominal fee.
- Motorists are advised to always carry a spare    fan belt and radiator hose in the boot - even if    the vehicle has been given a clean bill in a    technical inspection. These could save time and    money in the event of a breakdown, and it is    also advisable to carry a spare ignition key.
- Prevent sun glare and eye fatigue by wearing    good quality sunglasses.
- Do not consume any alcohol during your trip.
- An overheated or very cold vehicle can    compound the fatigue effects.
- If you can, have another person ride with you,    so you will have someone to talk to and who    can share the driving.
- Make sure that you rest when you are not    driving.
- Take a 15-minute break at least every 2 hours.
- Fatigue and eye strain can be avoided by    making frequent rest stops. It is advisable to    include safety breaks every two hours or 200    kilometers, as this will reduce fatigue levels.
- Avoid driving during your body's downtime
   (1am – 5am).
- Boredom can also cause fatigue. Music / radio /
   conversation is helpful.
- Look out for these signs when you are driving:
- you keep yawning
- your reactions slow down
- you feel stiff and your eyes feel heavy
- you find you are day dreaming
- you wander over the centre line or on to the    edge of the road
- If you notice any of these danger signs, stop for    a rest. If needed, a quick nap - even 20 minutes    will help. During your break, get some exercise - it helps you become more alert quickly.
- Always use your seat belts.
- Keep a safe distance behind the car in front of    you.
- Drive according to the road conditions.
- Reduce speed when it is raining or the road is    wet.
- Adhere to speed limits.
- Use low beam headlights (never drive with
   parking lights) between sunset and sunrise as
   well as in overcast or misty weather conditions.
- It is also advisable before leaving on a long
   journey to check insurance policies. Motor
   vehicles, householder, houseowner and life
   assurance policies should be in order.
- Newspaper and milk deliveries should be
   canceled and provision made for the care of
   pets. As a further precaution, travellers should
   inform the nearest police station that they will be    away from home.
- Families travelling an unfamiliar route must
   plan their journey. The AA offers members a
   wide range of route maps, town plans,
   brochures and road reports. Individually
   planned itineraries are available to members
   on request. It also makes good sense to use
   major routes and not back roads - even if they    cut travelling distance.
- The AA administers the SOS system installed
   by the Department of Transport on major
   highways. SOS telephones are spaced at two
   kilometer intervals and help is only a call
   away.
- While traveling, motorists should ensure their    own safety, and that of their families and
   other road users, by using seatbelts and
   maintaining a two second following distance.
- Following distances must be increased at night,
   in foggy or rainy conditions and when the road
   is wet.
- Cars should be locked when unattended, with
   no valuables inside the vehicle where they
   can be seen by passers-by. Never leave    children or pets in a locked car because the    heat build-up in the interior can cause heat    exhaustion or heat stroke and can be fatal.
- It is also important that motorists carry their
   drivers licence at all times. This is required by
   legislation.