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Here is how to stay alive this festive season

By Tony Ngare | December 20th 2015 at 12:00:00 GMT +0300

The holiday season is filled with excitement, as everyone makes a mad rush to do last minute shopping. But it can also be a time of danger for road users. As you shop, keep road safety at the top of your mind. Here are a few tips to ensure your festivities are safe:

Plan your trip

This sounds like a pretty obvious thing, but Kenyans are legendary for rushing to complete tasks in the last minute. Our failure to plan ahead especially on transport logistics can ruin what should have been an otherwise good time. For those travelling upcountry, it is prudent to remember that those choice items you find at urban centres may not be available upcountry. That spare part or bottled water may not be available at your petrol station in shags. For those travelling to a new place, know how you will get there. It is no fun getting lost on your way to holiday.

Service your car

If there is one thing that is worse than getting lost is getting stuck and helpless. If your car, or any of its major components, breaks, your holiday is likely to be ruined. It is important to check your vehicle thoroughly before a long trip.

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Play by the rule book

When driving long distance, there may be stretches of single lane traffic and many drivers take chances when overtaking other vehicles. Make sure you  overtake  where there is a solid white line and always check if it is safe to do so. Many crashes are caused by motorists who underestimate the distance especially at blind corners.

Buckle up

All passengers in your vehicle should be buckled up. It may not be obvious, but passengers are the driver’s responsibility. Children under three years old should have a proper car seat. Older children will require a booster seat which ideally should be approved by National Safety and Transport Authority.                                                                                                                                        Do not drink and drive

Drinking and driving do not mix. Get a teetotaler to drive or simply get a taxi if you must drink.

Make regular stops

Stop every two hours or 200 kilometres to stretch your legs and get some fresh air. You may consider staying overnight at your stop and experience something different, before getting to your destination.

Have a Merry Christmas.

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