10 December 2010

Roads deaths up pre-holidays

Emergency services report an unusual increase in pre-festive season road deaths, with failure to buckle up, speeding, driver fatigue and alcohol abuse as major causative factors.

Emergency services report an unusual increase in pre-festive season road deaths, with failure to wear seat-belts, speeding, driver fatigue and alcohol use cited as major contributing factors. 

Mande Toubkin, Netcare Group Manager Emergency and Trauma, concurs: "In our experience around half of South Africans are still not wearing seatbelts. It’s particularly disturbing how many parents don’t buckle their children up. This despite the fact that seatbelts have been scientifically proven to protect children and adults during motor vehicle accidents. In my view, not buckling up children is neglectful."

  • Stay alert and don’t let yourself get sidetracked by cell phones or other distractions. Distracted driving is a killer.
  • Buckle up.
  • Get an adequate amount of quality sleep before setting off on a long journey.
  • Don’t drink alcohol
  • Avoid eating heavy foods which can make you sleepy.
  • If you are on medication, make sure it won’t impair your driving abilities.
  • Stop and take a break at least every two hours.
  • If possible, drive with a companion with whom you can switch driving when you start feeling tired.
  • Chat with your passengers to help stay alert – although not to the extent that they distract you.
  • Keep the temperature in your vehicle cool; a warm environment tends to cause lethargy.
  • Check blind spots and "read" road and traffic conditions continually. Don’t only keep your eye on the vehicle ahead of you.


Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

Lifestyle »

E-cigarettes: Here are five things to know

E-cigarettes have become hugely popular in the past decade, but a rash of vaping-linked deaths and illnesses in the US is feeding caution about a product that's already banned in some places.

Allergy »

Ditch the itch: Researchers find new drug to fight hives

A new drug works by targeting an immune system antibody called immunoglobulin E, which is responsible for the allergic reaction that causes hives.