You can almost taste the festive weekend in the air! Those celebrating the Chinese New Year are looking forward to returning home to their hometowns on the eve to make it for the reunion dinner. Those who aren’t celebrating it are also probably travelling during the long weekend. By now, the balik kampung exodus has probably already begun but with the rainy season and wet roads, you have to be extra cautious when driving. Here are some tips for a safe journey home.
1.Plan your trip
Plan your trip at least a week ahead, if not a month. This might seem a little early but it makes a big difference to your travel comfort and safety. Knowing which roads are likely to have extra travelers and opting for alternate routes make travelling smoother for you. Avoiding heavy congestion saves a lot of time even if the alternate route is longer in mileage. For the return trip, avoid the most popular days for travel by extending your trip a day or two. And no, it’s not a pretext we made up just to get a couple more days of fun in the sun!
2.Listen in to traffic reports
Traffic reports are a big help especially when it comes to giving you options to alternate routes. Not only do they give you the showdown on what’s happening on the major roads around the country, traffic reports also include weather forecasts so you can avoid that flooded area or make a de-tour to skip the traffic crawl caused by that accident. Sometimes, the reports also come complete with the R&R stops near you!
3.Get enough sleep
Get enough sleep before your trip. Maybe you won’t be able to catch enough zzz’s before your return trip after all the buzz and excitement, but that’s no excuse. Having another driver to take over when you’re tired also helps as it gives you some time to snooze while on the road. If you’re feeling sleepy during a drive, do take the time to stop at the nearest R&R for a nap or simply to freshen up. Remember, it’s better to be late or to miss out on work than to get into an accident.
4.Check car tyres
Tyres are the number one thing that comes to mind at the mention of road safety, and yet they never get the attention they deserve. Make sure your vehicle tyres are not bald as they don’t have as much grip on the road especially when it is wet. Tyre conditions also determine whether your vehicle can stop in time or take that sharp corner efficiently. Under-inflated tyres also increase fuel consumption apart from increasing your tyre wear. Over-inflated tyres will have a smaller contact patch – the part of the tyre that makes contact with the road – which can lead to a loss of traction and poorer braking distances.
5.Use hazard lights correctly
Hazard lights are notoriously known to be misused on the road. Many still use it for the wrong reasons especially during poor visibility during heavy downpours. The purpose of hazard lights is for motorists to use them during an emergency, to warn other motorists that you are slowing down to make an emergency stop. It alerts and warns motorists to take precautions and, most importantly, to prevent untoward incidents. Otherwise, if switched on always, it’s dangerous especially to motorists as they will have no way of knowing which direction you intend on taking because it is part of the turn signal system.