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MotorWeb's 10 Tips for Safe Driving this Christmas

8 years ago

Here are our tips to keep you and your family safe these holidays.Road Safety Tips

Avoid alcohol.  If you are planning on drinking then organise a sober driver or get a taxi.  If you think you might be tempted to jump behind the wheel after a few to many it might pay to taxi to the event to remove the temptation!

Be courteous to other road users. Most people understand that if you are towing a caravan or boat you are restricted 90km/h and often that speed is too fast.  If you are towing or driving slow, keep an eye in your side and rear vision mirrors for traffic building up and look for opportunities to pull to the shoulder and let people pass.

Don¿t text and drive.  Vodafone¿s DriveSafe auto-replies to text messages to say you are driving.  There¿s also free apps like Drive Safely

Get your vehicle checked.  Just because it passed it¿s last WOF doesn¿t mean your vehicle is safe.  VTNZ will check your vehicle for just $20 with a WOF inspection or $30 without a WOF inspection.   

Take care overtaking.  Ensure you will have 100 metres of clear road ahead of you once you have finished passing.  Keep a reasonable distance from the vehicle you wish to overtake so you can accelerate before overtaking.         

Keep a safe following distance from the vehicle in front; remember the two-second rule for normal conditions and the four second rule when wet or towing. 

Pick a fixed point on the roadway - e.g. a road sign, mailbox, line/crack/patch in the road. After the car ahead passes a given fixed point, the front of one's car should pass the same point no less than two seconds later.

Pay attention to your high and low beam.  Dip your headlights as soon as you see an oncoming vehicle.  If you are on windy roads and don¿t require high beam then try to avoid using it as it can be hard to dip your headlights in time.

Avoid fatigue.  Get a good rest the night before, take breaks and share the driving.  When driving at night avoid staring at the lights of oncoming vehicles.

Expect the unexpected!  Overseas drivers were involved in more than 400 crashes on New Zealand roads last year.  Failure to keep left, poor handling and fatigue were the leading causes of deadly crashes.

Drive to the conditions. It¿s not always safe to drive at the speed limit.  If there¿s been rain after a long fine patch roads often become slippery with oil deposits that have built up.  Wind gusts can make your vehicle less stable and bright sun can reduce your vision, especially when the sun is lower in the sky.


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