After a challenging year, many of us are looking forward to the festive season and all that entails – think parties and get togethers over your favourite drinks. Unfortunately, this relaxed attitude often leads to lapsed caution on the roads, especially when drivers have had one drink too many.
As a business, Heineken South Africa is especially aware of the damage brought by reckless driving, particularly when it’s associated with drinking – damage that affects not only the reputation of the alcohol industry, but society as a whole.
That’s why Heineken is committed to promoting the safe consumption of its beers and ciders. Most consumers are, after all, familiar with the message advocated by its flagship beer, Heineken®: “When you drive, never drink.”
That’s sound advice indeed, but there are several other steps you can take to protect yourself – and others – while on the road. Here are some key tips from Heineken:
- Don’t drink and drive. It really is as simple as that. There are plenty of options available if you’ve imbibed more than you thought you would, and therefore aren’t in a state to get behind the wheel. Make sure that you have downloaded a ride hailing app to your phone before you leave the house, or ask a friend who hasn’t been drinking to give you a lift.
- Wear your seatbelt. This is another non-negotiable – according to the United States’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least 51% of both teens and adults aged between 20-44 who died in motor vehicle accidents were not wearing seatbelts at the time of the accident.
- Use a hands-free kit to make and receive calls. Paying attention to a conversation while driving means that you aren’t paying attention to the road – which is why drivers’ reactions are often slowed if they are using their phones. Texting is equally, if not more, dangerous, as the activity requires that you take your eyes off the road. Even a second’s glance at your screen can have dire consequences.
- Obey speed limits. Remember that speed limits have been imposed according to road conditions such as visibility in certain weather conditions, or even the route taken by the road. They’re there to keep you safe.
- Obey traffic signage at all times. Traffic signs have been erected in order to provide crucial information about the road or the conditions in the surrounds. Again, they’re there for your own safety.
- Keep a safe following distance. Think of the two seconds between your car and the vehicle in front of you as a safety net: if anything should happen (such as a car going into the back of you), the driver will have enough time to react. It’s important to increase the distance to four seconds if you’re driving in wet weather or conditions where visibility is poor.
- Taking a road trip? Before you leave, conduct a thorough check of your car. Making sure that features like the brakes, windscreen wipers, tyres and steering wheel will go a long way to keep you safe.
- Take regular breaks. It’s impossible to keep focused on the road for lengthy periods; at some stage, you’re bound to start feeling a little lulled by the constant motion of the car. Falling asleep at the wheel puts you and your passengers at risk, but even if things don’t progress to this point, your reaction time may be severely hampered. Be sure to stop, get out the car and stretch your legs every two hours.
- Change your driving as the road and weather conditions demand. Remain aware so that you can adapt as necessary; for example, if it suddenly starts raining, slow down, put on your windscreen drivers and increase your following distance.
- Be a responsible driver. Be courteous, respectful and considerate to your fellow road users.
- Get home safely. Your family needs you more than ever at this time of year.
About Heineken South Africa:
Heineken South Africa is a key player in the beer and cider industry in the country, with an impressive portfolio of brands, including Heineken®, Sol, Desperados, Windhoek, Amstel, Strongbow, Fox, Soweto Gold, and Tafel. Heineken South Africa is a joint venture between Heineken N.V. and Namibia Breweries. Visit www.heinekensouthafrica.co.za