Arrive safe and alive

Viewpoint

17 December 2018 | Opinion

Leandrea Louw - It’s the festive season and majority of us will be travelling to various destinations to spend Christmas and the New Year.

At the start of the festive season, a 2-year-old boy and a 30-year-old woman lost their lives in a gruesome accident on the B2 road between Arandis and Usakos. One driver decided to make the split second, life changing decision to overtake on a blind spot and rammed into an oncoming vehicle.

Our statistics for the region indicate that during the 2017/18 festive season there were a total of 256 accidents in which eight people had died. Of these 256 accidents, 17 slight injuries and 14 serious injuries were recorded. If you look at it, it’s a total of 22 people whose lives have been changed irrevocably.

How many of these people now have to make use of a wheelchair? Or suffered brain damage and can’t remember information like they used to? How many people have lost their breadwinner of the family? How many people will never be over the untimely loss of their loved one?

Your split second decision to overtake at a blind spot, driving under the influence on clocking 200 km/h on the speedometer can have harrowing consequences and just so that you can arrive a minute of two earlier at your destination.

Let us be mindful of each other on the roads. Make sure to plan ahead for your journey and make provision for hiccups on the road if you need to arrive at your destination a certain time.

Check your tyres. Too many of us neglect to check our tyres to see if it is still roadworthy. Make sure to check your tyre pressure as well.

If someone is driving erratically on the main roads, report them at the nearest roadblock.

Too many people have died on our roads, and we tend to blame the road itself, while in actual fact it’s the mindset of our drivers who need the fixing.

Passengers, you have the right to speak up if you feel someone is driving too fast or overtaking at dangerous places. Your life matters!

Make sure you have a designated driver if you know you’ll be drinking. Either sleep it off or find someone to take you home. A lot of the events that will take place at the coast will have buses to transport people - make use of their services.

Driving under the influence is not something you can boast about to your friends the next morning. One misjudgment on the road due to the alcohol influence can have devastating consequences.

Lastly, we have lost five people during the 2017/18 festive season due to drowning. Please remember to swim at designated areas. If you cannot swim, do not be brave and try and do so. If you’ve been drinking, stay away from the water. Our bodies do not function the same or even better when under the influence of alcohol compared to when we are sober.

Let’s look out for one another this festive season and report any suspicious behavior to your nearest police station or neighbourhood watch.

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