As South Africans take to the roads to their vacation destinations or to visit family and loved ones this festive season, they can rest assured that there will be more than a few guardian angels to watch out for them.
To keep road safety top of mind among road users and provide emergency assistance to the public on the N3 highway to Durban during the busy holiday period, Netcare 911 has established a rescue base at Harrismith with ambulances and an advanced life support response vehicle also operating from there.
“The roads are extremely busy over the holiday season and poor driving habits coupled with a lack of safety awareness can unfortunately lead to high numbers of largely preventable road accidents,” cautions Ramduth.
Netcare 911’s road safety awareness campaign for the 2015 holiday season is focusing on driver fatigue and alcohol abuse, which are both responsible for large numbers of accidents every year, according to Ramduth. He says many drivers never consider the importance of being in a good mental and physical condition when embarking on a road trip.
“Drivers need to ensure that they are rested and alert, their vehicle is roadworthy and, if possible, obtain current information about the route that they are planning to take,” he suggests. “Getting lost or disorientated, especially when tired, can cause a driver to become distracted and have an accident. Never drink and drive. Drinking alcohol results in the senses becoming dulled and slower reaction times. An estimated six out of ten drivers who are killed in motor vehicle accidents in South Africa have been found to be under the influence of alcohol.”
Some of the basic safety tips all road users should adhere to are:
- Always ‘buckle up’.
- Get an adequate amount of quality sleep before setting off on your journey.
- Avoid alcohol before and during the journey.
- Stop and take a break from driving at least every two hours.
- If you are feeling really tired, stop at a safe place and take a nap or stretch your legs – wait for at least ten minutes before getting back in the car as you need to ensure that you are properly awake.
- Keep the temperature in your car cool as a warmer environment encourages sleepiness.
- Make a point of checking blind spots and ‘reading’ road and traffic conditions – don’t just keep your eye on the vehicle ahead of you.
Ramduth offers the following advice when reporting an emergency: “Dial 082 911. When the call is answered, begin by stating ‘I have an emergency…’ Give your name and contact number clearly so that we will have a means of contacting you. State whether it is a life-threatening situation from the outset. Be specific. Give your exact location and the physical address or location where the persons requiring assistance can be found.”
“Whenever you find yourself in trouble or where people are hurt and in need of urgent medical attention do not hesitate to call Netcare 911. We will, as always, be on high alert during this coming festive season,” concludes Ramduth
Issued by: Martina Nicholson Associates (MNA) on behalf of Netcare 911
Contact: Martina Nicholson, Graeme Swinney, Meggan Saville and Devereaux Morkel
Telephone: (011) 469 3016
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com