Monday, May 27, 2024
33 C
Brunei Town

Road-ready Raya

We’ve just wrapped up the first week of Hari Raya Aidilfitri, but in Brunei Darussalam, the celebration is a month-long affair. So, as the festive lights continue to twinkle across the Sultanate, the season of travel is still in full swing.

Many in Brunei continue to make cross-country journeys after work, eager to spend precious moments with family and friends.

Meanwhile, some of us have already ventured or are planning trips across the border to visit relatives and loved ones in neighbouring Sabah, Sarawak, and even Kalimantan.

The spirit of Balik Kampung is very much alive in the Sultanate, however amid the ongoing Raya cheer, it’s crucial to prioritise the safety of our travels.

If you’re planning a long road trip this festive season, here are some essential car safety tips to ensure your journey is as joyful as the destination.


Pre-travel check-up

Before you set off on your Hari Raya adventure, it’s important to make sure your vehicle is ready for the journey ahead.

Start with a thorough check of your brake system; fully functional brakes are vital, especially for those unexpected moments when you need to stop suddenly.

Next; the tyres. Make sure they are properly inflated and the tread is adequate for the terrain and weather conditions you will encounter. This is vital for maintaining good traction and safety on the road.

Don’t forget about your lights and signals. All lights, including brake lights and turn signals, should be operational so you can communicate clearly with other drivers. Finally, check your vehicle’s fluid levels. This includes oil, coolant, and windshield fluids. Topping these up as necessary can help you avoid engine troubles or overheating during your travels.


Plan your route and schedule

As you plan your Hari Raya journey, it’s wise to carefully map out your route, choosing the safest paths and identifying ideal spots for rest breaks.

To minimise the risk of fatigue-related accidents, try to schedule your travel during daylight hours rather than late at night.

Incorporate GPS navigation to guide you accurately, but stay adaptable, as traffic conditions can shift unexpectedly during festive seasons. By preparing for potential delays and being flexible with your travel plans, you can navigate any unexpected detours or congestion smoothly.


Practise defensive driving

Practising defensive driving is especially necessary during the busy Raya season.

One key aspect is maintaining a safe distance between your vehicle and the one in front. This spacing allows you ample time to react to sudden stops or unforeseen road conditions.

Staying alert is equally important. To ensure your focus remains on the road, keep distractions to a minimum. If you’re using your phone for navigation, install it in a hands-free holder. This set-up helps you stay informed about your route without compromising your attention or safety.

Lastly, observing speed limits is a fundamental part of defensive driving. Always stick to the designated speed limits and adjust your driving speed according to the road and weather conditions.


Pack an emergency kit

It’s always wise to be prepared for the unexpected when hitting the road. Make sure your emergency kit is well-stocked with the essentials.

Include first aid supplies such as bandages, anti-septic wipes, pain relievers and any prescribed medications you may need.

These items can help you manage minor injuries or health issues that may arise during your journey.

Carry tools and supplies like a jack, spare tyre, jumper cables, and a basic toolkit to handle minor repairs or issues with your vehicle.

Keep a list of emergency contact numbers handy, including roadside assistance and nearby hospitals along your route. This way, you’ll be ready to handle any situation that comes your way, whether it’s a flat tyre or a medical emergency.


Child safety

When travelling with children, their safety should come on top.

Use appropriate car seats for your children. These seats should be suited to their age, height, and weight and must be correctly installed in your vehicle.

Additionally, keeping children entertained during the journey can help prevent them from becoming restless and potentially distracting the driver.

Providing them with books, games or videos can help keep them happy and occupied throughout the trip.

Use appropriate car seats for your children. PHOTO: PG DIANA

Rest and refresh

Long drives can be exhausting and fatigue can impair your driving ability, so please take regular breaks. Stop for at least 15 minutes every two hours to stretch your legs and refresh your mind.

If you’re travelling with others, consider sharing the driving responsibilities. Rotating drivers can help keep everyone alert and focused on the road. Moreover, staying hydrated and eating light, energising foods can help prevent drowsiness, so opt for snacks that will keep you feeling alert.


Stay informed

Staying updated on weather forecasts and traffic conditions is crucial, particularly during long journeys. Utilise apps and local news sources for real-time information.

Also, stay informed about COVID-19 protocols, whether you’re celebrating Raya domestically or internationally.

Even as restrictions may have eased, it remains important to prioritise hygiene and practice safe social interactions during your visits.

This Raya season, as the excitement of reuniting with loved ones fills the air, let’s remember that the true joy of the festival lies in the safe and happy gathering of families.

Let’s all ensure that we remain safe and that this festive season is memorable for all the right reasons. Safe travels! – WARDI WASIL