This month South Africa celebrated Mandela Day with a global call to action that each individual has the power to make a difference and help to transform the world. Everyone using the country’s roads can make a difference every day by driving safely.
It has been estimated that 1.35 million fatal traffic accidents are reported each year – that means that every 24 seconds someone dies in a road accident. Campaigns are constantly being run to encourage motorists to prevent future incidents and fatalities for safer roads. However, driver error is still one of the biggest contributors and many accidents could be avoided by simply changing our behaviour on the roads.
Addressing risky and irresponsible driving is critical if we want to create safer roads for everyone. So, this July, Matrix outlines some road safety advice:
- Avoid distracted driving: texting and driving still pose a major danger to road users. In fact, any activity that diverts your attention will endanger not only you, the driver, but your passengers as well as pedestrians and other road users. And while we are not always aware of it, distractions can be things like eating while driving, applying make-up, driving with hot beverages and talking on the phone even with a hands-free kit. Keep your eyes and mind on the road– it’s safer for you and other road users.
- Stick to the speed limit: accidents happen in a matter of seconds, even in ideal driving conditions. Speed limits are carefully evaluated and assigned to improve response time – when you see a lower speed limit this is because these areas are high-risk areas – not only for accidents but also because these areas may have high pedestrian traffic, such as close proximity to a school. Sticking to the required speed limit reduces the risk of a collision.
- Don’t drive impaired: there are multiple factors that affect your driving ability and while many of these may be beyond your control, it is crucial to take responsibility for those you do have control over. So, never operate a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, drugs or over-the-counter medications. Anti-depressants, narcotics, stimulants and hallucinogens can all alter vision as well as your response times. Drugs quickly affect reaction time, coordination and judgement. If you feel woozy, rather hand over your vehicle keys to a designated driver or call for a taxi.
- Use the Matrix App: this will assist in monitoring your driving style and help you improve your driving as well as give you some cost-saving benefits like lower fuel usage and reduced car maintenance costs. Please do not use the app while driving.
Matrix believes that prevention is always better than cure, which is why we offer a vast range of services to aid you and your family’s personal safety. We care about the safety of everyone on our roads and so we urge you to adopt a proactive attitude towards driving behaviour. #MakeADifference #DriveSafe