Celebrating the end of the year and the festive season shouldn't come at the price of your safety, according to Heineken South Africa.
After a challenging year, many of us are looking forward to the festive season and all that entails – from office parties, hometown returns, and family get togethers over your favourite drinks. Unfortunately, this relaxed attitude often leads to a lapse in caution on the roads.
As a business, Heineken South Africa is especially aware of the damage brought by reckless driving and has developed S’fika Sonke - We All Arrive Safe, an interactive road safety campaign that appeals to the objective of road users to reach their destination safely. The pillars of this campaign highlight and encourage a commitment to:
- not drink and drive,
- not speed on the roads, and
- to take regular breaks when travelling long distances.
The campaign covers three provinces, across six pit stops in Mpumalanga, Gauteng, and Limpopo, during important travel dates, including the mid-December public holiday.
Each of the pitstops along traveller routes will allow travellers to log their virtual and real-time journey to win prizes at the last pit stop. A selection of prizes are up for grabs to reward motorists and passengers who participate in the campaign and display the required safe behaviours during their journeys, with the grand prize being R10,000 to spend at Tiger Wheel & Tyre. Prizes can also be won by those who sign up; drivers with a zero blood alcohol reading by means of breathalyser; as well as passengers in taxis or cars whose trips are timed to ensure no speeding took place.
A QR code inputted at the first stop calculates the navigation time between that point and the end destination that was inputted in the onboarding survey.
The innovative system uses QR codes, and WhatsApp to communicate with participants during their travels. The pitstops include Shell Ultra City N1 Midrand, Engen 1 Stop N1 Kranskop Bela Bela, Shell Ultra City N1 Polokwane, Total Energies Petroport N12 Witbank, Total Energies Petroport N4 Alzu and lastly, Shell R104, Mbombela.
While this campaign focusses on the top three vital safety imperatives; there are several other steps you can take to protect yourself, and others, while on the road. Here are some key tips from Heineken South Africa:
- Don’t drink and drive. It really is as simple as that. There are plenty of options available if you’ve drank more than you thought you would, and therefore aren’t in a state to get behind the wheel.
- Obey speed limits. Remember that speed limits have been imposed according to road conditions such as visibility in certain weather conditions, or even the route taken by the road. Speed limits are there to keep you safe.
- Take regular breaks. It’s impossible to keep focused on the road for lengthy periods. At some stage you’re bound to start feeling a little lulled by the constant motion of the car. Falling asleep at the wheel puts you and your passengers at risk, and in addition your reaction time may be severely hampered. Be sure to stop, get out the car and stretch your legs every two hours.
- Wear your seatbelt. This is another non-negotiable: 51% of adults aged between 20-44 who died in motor vehicle accidents were not wearing seatbelts at the time of the accident. (According to the United States’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Keep your hands on the wheel. Don’t make and receive calls while driving, or instead ensure that a passenger types or call for you. Paying attention to a conversation while driving means that you aren’t paying attention to the road – which is why drivers’ reactions are often slowed if they are using their phones. Texting is equally, if not more, dangerous, as the activity requires that you take your eyes off the road. Even a seconds glance at your screen can have dire consequences.
- Always obey traffic signage. Traffic signs have been erected to provide crucial information about the road or the conditions in the surrounds. Again, they’re there for your own safety.
- Keep a safe following distance. Think of the two seconds between your car and the vehicle in front of you as a safety net: if anything should happen (such as a car going into the back of you), the driver will have enough time to react.
- Watch the weather: Change your driving as the road and weather conditions demand. Remain aware so that you can adapt as necessary; for example, if it suddenly starts raining, slow down, put on your windscreen drivers and increase your following distance. Increase your following distance to four seconds in wet conditions or visibility is poor.
- Before you leave for a long journey, conduct a thorough check of your car. Making sure that features like the brakes, windscreen wipers, tyres and steering wheel are in working condition will go a long way to keep you safe.
- Be a responsible driver. Be courteous, respectful, and considerate to your fellow road users.
Get home safely. Your family needs you more than ever at this time of year.