The Diwali holiday is celebrated around the world and, typically, involves many people planning trips to enjoy the “festival of light” with loved ones. Travel is likely to be disrupted this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and you are advised to check your country’s official guidance before making plans.

However you celebrate, follow these road safety tips to help keep you and your loved ones safe this Diwali holiday season:

  1. Adhere to international, national and regional guidance regarding travel, including guidance in your intended destination.
  2. Plan trips well in advance so that you aren’t tempted to rush. Pack up in plenty of time, plan your route (including rest stops) and leave enough time to arrive at your destination calmly and safely. Travel outside of peak times if you can. Don’t forget to tell someone of your intended route and estimated time of arrival.
  3. Prepare your vehicle so it is safe for you and your family. Carry out basic checks to make sure things like lights and brakes are working correctly, fluid levels are topped up and tires, mirrors, windows and seat belts are not damaged.
  4. Avoid overloading your vehicle. Carrying too many passengers means there are not enough seat belts for everyone. An overloaded vehicle also affects handling, increases your stopping distance and can cause damage to the road.
  5. Ensure you are well-rested before your journey so that you are alert during your trip. Plan for rest breaks every 200 miles/kms./2 hours to stretch your legs.
  6. Be patient while driving and consider that others may be driving distracted or in unfamiliar areas.
  7. Focus on the drive, avoiding distractions (such as mobile phones) and impairment. It’s a good idea to pack quiet activities to keep children occupied. If you drink ANY alcohol, don’t drive.
  8. Obey traffic rules, including seat belts, speed limits and – if you’re riding a two-wheeler – wearing a helmet.
  9. Be aware that people might set off firecrackers in/ beside the road. Driving at a safe speed and avoiding distractions should enable you to stop safely in the event of this happening. Keep windows closed while driving to prevent stray firecrackers from entering your car.
  10. Look out for others on the road, including pedestrians, two-wheelers, children and animals. Remember that other people might be impaired so take extra care.

Visit eDriving’s COVID-19 Resource Centre for coronavirus-related news, guidance and resources.