15 tips to stay safe on the road

Daily driving on our roads can be quite the adventure – with different types of dangers lurking at different turns, you want to do more than just arrive alive at your destination.

Although the common view is that women are easier targets on the road, road safety is imperative irrespective of who is behind the wheel. Having the right kind of information will come in handy in case of an emergency. Aside from ensuring that you are well aware of all of the road rules, and always carrying a relevant driver’s licence, there are also some crucial safety tips that you can take into account to ensure your safety and security.

Here are 15 tips which will help to keep you informed, alert and safe on the road:

Routine maintenance:

  • Have your car serviced regularly at a reputable garage to ensure that it is in tip top condition and won’t put you in a dangerous situation.
  • If you will be going on a long journey, be sure to do a pre-trip inspection of your vehicle to check for any faults that could land you up in a dangerous or emergency situation.
  • Knowing how to change your tyres, how to jumpstart a car or other minor maintenance things that don’t need a mechanic can come in handy should you get stuck on the side of the road. Take some time to learn how to do it yourself.
  • Never ignore warning signs or lights that appear on your vehicle.
  • Try to fill up your vehicle with fuel once it has reached the halfway mark or before long trips. Never allow yourself to run out of fuel, as this is the easiest way to wind up stuck on the side of the road!
  • Be sure to regularly check the condition and pressure of your tyres. Worn tyres pose a greater risk of bursting and a flat tyre can leave you stranded. If financially viable, invest in run-flat tyres. In the same breath, ensure that you always have a spare tyre in your boot that is in good condition.

Be aware whilst driving

  • Be alert and aware while driving or when you have stopped for any reason and keep the doors of your car locked at all times.
  • Place all valuables, or anything that could attract chancers, in the boot of your car.
  • Keep enough space between your car and the car in front of you to pull out and drive away in an emergency situation.
  • Be aware of vehicles that are travelling behind you. If the car behind you continues to follow you for a long time, take alternative left and right turns to see if the car continues to follow you. If they do, then there is a possibility that you are being targeted. In this situation, drive to your nearest police station, petrol station or busy / lit up area to seek help.
  • Don’t play on your phone while driving or stopped at intersections! Not only is this a distraction, it only makes you vulnerable and thus a target for predators.
  • Plan your trips and know your destination before getting on the road – don’t just drive if you’re unsure of where you’re headed to. Have a map or GPS system ready and at hand to use should you get lost.
  • Be careful of picking up hitchhikers – predators can come in different disguises.

Car broken down?

  • Should you find yourself in a situation where your car has broken down, you’ll want to have everything you need at hand - a fully charged cell phone, emergency numbers, first aid kit etc.
  • In the event of a breakdown or emergency, do not exit your vehicle until the requested help arrives or you feel safe to do so. If someone stops and offers to help, wind your window down minimally to chat to them and let them know that your help will be arriving shortly.

Your safety on the road should be a priority, together with your loved ones and passengers. By taking these road safety tips into account, you can ensure that you travel as safely as possible while considering other drivers that are sharing the road with you. When getting insurance cover for your car, be sure to select a cover that provides roadside assistance. Safeguard yourself against unforeseen vehicle emergencies with MiWay's comprehensive, affordable and flexible car insurance cover.

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