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Ensure your vehicles are safe while driving on the roads, says SAIA

Ensure your vehicles are safe while driving on the roads, says SAIA
06-04-23 / Chris Smit

Ensure your vehicles are safe while driving on the roads, says SAIA

Johannesburg - The holiday season is filled with travellers, the majority of whom travel mostly by road for vacation. Sadly, busy roads result in numerous road accidents and insurance claims too. The South African Insurance Association (SAIA) would like to encourage travellers to make sure their vehicles are safe as they travel to and from their holiday destinations.  

Ms. Pamela Ramagaga, General Manager: Insurance Risks at SAIA, says “Drivers should focus on three main things before they travel, their insurance policy, their vehicle and their journey. Your vehicle needs to be roadworthy and ready for the trip. Having your car serviced ahead of travel is not only a safety measure, but it also decreases the need to endure any possible roadside assistance calls and claims thereafter.

“Planning your journey allows you to keep safe and save in case of a claim, most insurers give you the option to add a tracking device to your car, where the device can give the insurer details about your driving habits (braking, acceleration, cornering) and details of where you drive the car. Your premium and claim are then adjusted depending on how risky your behaviour was during that incident.

“Most importantly review your insurance policy and understand what exactly you are covered for ahead of your trip. Liaise with your insurer or broker who can assist with advice and, confirm what is and is not covered under your current policy, including what the expectation is within your policy,” explains Ramagaga.

Before heading out on a long road trip, SAIA advises the following:

Review your policy

  • Review your insurance policy ahead of your trip. It’s important to know what you’re covered for because that not only determines how much you pay for your insurance but also what you get out in case you make a claim.
  • Have your services provider contact numbers ready in case you need emergency roadside assistance after a mechanical or electrical breakdown, flat tyre, flat battery, or any other roadside-related emergency you are insured for vehicles.
  • Familiarise yourself with your service providers’ safety features, including useful features such as impact alerts, vehicle finders, panic buttons, and weather warnings.
  • If you are driving outside of South Africa, remember where the territorial limits apply to make sure you are covered before you travel.

 Service your vehicle

  • Take your vehicle for a roadworthy inspection and make sure your tyres and brakes are in working order. Each tyre has to have at least 1mm tread. Your spare wheel has to be in good condition too, and you should have all the necessary tools to change a wheel.
  • Have and use reflective triangles and a quality flashlight that you can use to warn motorists when your car has broken down or parked at an irregular spot.
  • Ensure that your window wipers are in working order and replace them if necessary. Inspect your windows for any chips or cracks and have these fixed before your travels.

Plan your trip

  • If your trip is long distance, try to drive with another person in the car. Take advantage of rest stops, exit your car and stretch out your legs every few hours. Stay hydrated and switch drivers every few hours to stay alert and prevent exhaustion.
  • You should never drive under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Over the holiday season, many drive under the influence. Driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol is illegal and tremendously dangerous.
  • Be prepared for rain and wet roads by giving yourself more travel time so you do not have to rush in bad weather. Track weather updates and avoid driving in the rain or at night and of course avoid water which has pooled on the roads.

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