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13 ways to stay safe on the road while driving up country during the festive season 

By HILARY KIMUYU November 30th, 2018 2 min read

It is the holiday season and many people will be traveling up country for the festivities.

One Ranto Kelvin (@Only1Ranto) has taken it upon himself to give drivers, especially first time ones, who are planning to drive up country this holiday season, tips on how to be safe on the road.

His 13 ways on how to stay safe which he shared on Twitter was also endorsed by the Kenya police service. The thread has been retweeted hundreds of times.

Here is his advice:

1 – Service your car. A must. Replace worn tyres, replace cv joints, suspension bushes, tie rods, rack ends. Go for alignment and camber adjustment. To avoid common highway breakdowns, check your battery, check your belts, check your lights, and check your indicators and Spare Tyre.

2 – Do not overload your car every adult you carry must be seated and belted. No standing kids – especially those that like to stand kids behind the dashboard, he or she will be severely injured even in a 30kph accident.

3 – Do not speed or compete with other drivers. Give way even when you have right of way. The first rule of the road is also the one that will ensure you arrive alive.

4 – Don’t overtake in a herd – a common habit. That because you can’t see the front of a long line, you swing to the right when everyone else does, you will find yourself under the axle of a 22 wheeler trying to get back in lane. Don’t overtake on blind corners or in heavy rain

5 – If your vehicle breaks down. Do not have your family stand next to the vehicle while you repair with half your butt on the highway. If it is a catastrophic failure and you can’t move, have them stand 20 metres away into the bush. Do not place your triangle 2 metres behind your car! Place it at a minimum of 70 metres from where your car has stalled. Do not place a tyre on the road. A sleeping driver will hit it, his front wheels might lose contact with the road and he runs into you.

6 – Avoid using the air conditioner. Especially in the low end models because most have no pollen filters or effective dust filters. Your village visit will become a miserable flu filled ordeal.

7 – Stop and sleep if you feel sleepy at any point. Not pouring cold water over your face!

8 – For those going to extreme ends of the country. Purchase simple puncture repair kits and mini compressors (a small investment of less than Sh5000) to avoid spending hours in dangerous and unfamiliar places.

9 – Carry light foods in case major accidents cause blockage and you have to spend hours in the car while you wait for the blockage to be cleared. Especially so if you have kids.

10 – Familiarize yourself with emergency medical and accident lifesaving procedures that you or another adult in your entourage can carry out while waiting for help. Even kids should have on them emergency numbers.

11 – If you find an accident on the road with no help in sight, stop to help. Do not just take pictures to post on your social media page. Those 5 minutes of your attention might be the difference between someone living or dying.

12 – Avoid unnecessary aggression on the road, it will change your judgement and distract you from the matter at hand.

13 – Lastly, drive slowly. It’s a holiday, not an emergency. Give every action a second thought. Train yourself to be patient and calm in all situations.