Do you remember the aggressive “Arrive Alive” campaigns of the 90s? They were a pretty big thing, leading up to the festive season exodus down to the coast. Billboards, radio spots and TV commercials drummed the message into our head – the importance of “taking it easy” on our national highways and byways and never to get behind the wheel after enjoying a dop.
This message still applies today, but staying safe over the festive season these days, requires you to think about a lot more. Sure, road safety is vital, but locking up your house for a few weeks and heading off to another part of the country means taking on a few additional risks you probably aren’t completely aware of.
In this blog post we are going to highlight a couple of things you need to tick off your pre-vacation check list before pulling out of your driveway and heading off on your well-deserved family holiday.
Make sure your home is completely secure before leaving
It seems obvious, but in our haste to vacate our premises and hit the tarmac we often overlook some basic security checks. Start with letting your neighbours know that you are out of town for a while and ask them to keep an eye on things. Make sure all windows, sliding doors and gates are closed and please test that your alarm is in full working order. If you have household contents insurance in place and your home is alarmed, a condition of your cover is that your alarm system works. If you have a break-in while you are away and your alarm is not activated, your insurer will repudiate your claim and you could be out of pocket for thousands of Rands.
Check that your car is running properly, and that your insurance premiums are up to date.
Making sure your car is fully serviced is important before you head off on a long journey. The last thing you need is an untimely mechanical failure that leaves you stranded on the side of a desolate road with the backseat full of tired kids and your partner giving you “that look”. The safety of your family is your responsibility and making sure your car is up for a long road trip is your part of that.
If your insurance premiums run off your bank account like clockwork every month, then you have no worries pulling out of your driveway, but if you are in the habit of missing a few payments (and making them up) just be careful. You know that adage Murphy’s Law – anything that can go wrong inevitable does go wrong. You don’t need to start 2022 with an insurance claim sitting on the “not going to pay” pile in some insurance assessor’s office.
Take it easy on the roads
South Africa has some of the world’s worst road accident statistics, and with many more cars on the road over the festive season, this simply means a high probability of something potentially going wrong. Keep to the speed limit, don’t take a gap when one doesn’t exist, and expect the unexpected. If you are going on a long trip, consider breaking your stay up and sleeping over for a night. It’s great to get acquainted with parts of the country you generally wouldn’t consider stopping over in. If you plan to do your trip in one go, take regular breaks and share the driving if you can.
Mask up and sanitize
We are in the grips of a 4th wave and Omicron (the newest COVID variant) is accelerating the infection rate five-fold. So, early indications are that you are five times more likely to get Omicron than you are all the other COVID variants and 25% of all new COVID tests are coming back positive. Is this variant worse than the others? Will our vaccines hold up? These are all questions we don’t have the answers to at this point, but to avoid another lockdown, it’s up to all of us to put in place some prudent measures this festive season and apply a little common sense. Avoid large gatherings and crowded spaces. That’s the most important thing we can all do besides masking up and sanitizing on a regular basis.
With a little luck, we’ll get through this festive season without any lockdown restrictions 🙂
Did you find this article useful?
Feel free to leave your comments below and let us know if you have any tips on how to stay safe this festive season.
Until next time.
The Wise About Life Team