Avoid driver fatigue on the holiday routes this Easter

With the long-awaited Easter holidays finally here, many South African families all over the country are about to set out on their road trips. This time of year is well known for being one of the busiest and most hazardous periods on the country’s main routes and Maxi’s marketing manager, Yolandi Ferreira encourages holiday makers to observe the basic safety precautions, and particularly, to avoid driver fatigue by making regular stops along the way.

Driver fatigue is a serious problem with the potential to cause serious road accidents each year. Research has revealed that driver fatigue could be a contributing factor in up to 25% of road accidents. Unfortunately, these types of accidents are about 50% more likely to result in fatalities or serious injuries, because they tend to take place at high speed when a driver who has fallen asleep does not brake or swerve to avoid or reduce the impact of a collision.

Even if the driver does not actually fall asleep, but drives in a state of drowsiness, alertness and reaction times are significantly reduced which impairs the ability to make quick decisions and perform attention-based activities.  Symptoms of driver fatigue include difficulty in focusing, keeping your eyes open or holding your head up, daydreaming, having wandering or disconnected thoughts; yawning or rubbing your eyes repeatedly;  drifting out of your lane, tailgating and missing signs or exits; and generally feeling restless and irritable.

So while all holiday makers taking to the roads this Easter should observe all the well-known basic safety measures, such as ensuring their cars are roadworthy, sticking to the speed limit, observing a safe following distance and, of course, buckling up, taking regular rest stops along the way during a long journey is very much a non-negotiable.

The experts recommend that drivers take a proper break every two hours along the journey. Get out of the car, stretch your legs and breathe in some fresh air. A power snack at each rest stop will recharge your batteries, and give you the mental and physical energy you need to safely tackle the next leg of the journey.

While Maxi’s, one of the country’s most loved family food restaurants, serves up healthy and energising meals for customers countrywide all year round, we also have several strategically placed restaurants along some of the country’s primary holiday routes. All located at Caltex petrol station sites, these restaurants offer our full menu, as well as the current national promotions - our Big Bang breakfast comprising, eggs, pork sausage, chips and toast; Tangy Chili Cheeseburger and chips and our All-day Grill with a choice of chicken, ribs and boerewors, all served with chips.

These Maxi’s restaurants can be found at Harrismith on the N3, in both easterly and westerly directions; Polokwane on the N1; Jeffreys Bay on the N2 turnoff; in Kimberley on the corner of McDougal and Memorial Streets; in Kuruman at Main Road Central; in Ventersburg on the N1 between Bloemfontein and Kokstad; and in Bergville on the corner of Kingsway and Erin Drive Central.

For more information on Maxi’s or to find your nearest store, please visit www.maxis.co.za.