As the weather warms, Mzansi's roads are also likely to heat up as South Africans look to embrace a return to hitting the roads on familiar routes and exploring new destinations both locally and beyond our borders. So if you're planning a getaway, it's important to take into account the potential risks associated with this excitement that fills the roads during this time, and to ensure that you're prepared for any eventuality so that your sho't left goes off without a hitch. Here are some top tips to bear in mind before hitting the road:
If you haven't hit the open road in some time, give your car a bit of attention before setting off on that long-awaited road trip. After all, nothing dampens the holiday mood quite like a breakdown in the middle of nowhere. If your car is due for a service, make sure to book it in before your departure to avoid any complications while on the road. It's also wise to check that all your tyres are in good working order (including your spare), ensuring that they're pumped to the correct pressure and that they're not overly worn.
Also check your oil and water levels, and make sure that your lights, brakes, and windscreen wipers are fully functional. And while you’re at it, start your trip right and Gcwalisa (fill up) that tank so you’re not running on empty in the middle of an epic road trip moment.
Whilst it's not always possible to avoid accidents, you can prevent them by mapping out your trip in advance. Familiarise yourself with the route before hitting the road, identifying possible resting points along the way. Work in a bit of extra time to avoid the need to put foot on the accelerator. In so doing, you'll also minimise the need to check your phone for directions, thus reducing the possibility of distractions.
Also jot down a list of all emergency numbers, including the contact details of where you're headed, as these could prove invaluable in the event of an accident or breakdown. Additionally, if you’re a MiWay client, you have the added benefit of comprehensive 24/7 roadside assistance, so make sure to keep the necessary number at hand so you can quickly request help and avoid lengthy delays. If you're in unfamiliar territory, you might also want to identify the nearest hospitals and doctors, so that you're prepared in the event of a health-related emergency. Remember, preparation is your best defense against the unexpected.
Cross-border explorations should be full of excitement and adventure, not stress. Make sure you’re armed with the necessary documents and insurance. One of the most important things you'll need at your disposal is a border letter from your insurer, attesting to the fact that your vehicle is covered outside of South Africa, which will make crossing the border gate easier. Before requesting the letter from your insurer, it's important to ensure that your existing policy allows for cross-border travel, and to update it if need be. You'll also want to ensure that all policy documents are up to date with the correct information, like your car's VIN and registration numbers. To facilitate planning and make travel less stressful, MiWay offers clients the option to download all necessary travel documents at the click of a button, using the insurer’s simple and intuitive app.
If you have a tracking device, it's important to check with your supplier that it's in good working order, as this could prove critical should your car be stolen or hijacked and will make any potential claims simpler and more efficient.
MiWay also offers an Emergency Alert service, which can mean the difference between life and death in the event of an accident. Using tracking technology, this innovative service generates an automatic response in the event that an impact to your vehicle is detected. Should you be incapacitated or unable to respond, emergency teams will be dispatched immediately to assist. This additional layer of protection can prove enormously helpful should you not be able to request help yourself, so make sure to chat through your options with your insurance provider. It means you’ll be able to focus on making holiday memories with complete peace of mind.
‘Life happens’ and that’s why we all need a moment to recharge and refuel ourselves with a break every now and then. By making sure you're prepared for any eventuality, you'll be able to soak up that spring sunshine and enjoy your getaway, your way.
MiWay is a licensed non-life insurer and Financial Services Provider (FSP 33970).