Lunar New Year, also known as Chinese New Year, or Spring Festival, is China’s most important festival. This year, Lunar New Year falls on February 12, 2021, with the date officially starting the Year of the Ox.
Usually, Lunar New Year means huge celebrations around the world, especially in China, where the occasion is marked by an official holiday (February 11-17). Millions of people traditionally travel for the holiday, but this year many local governments are urging people to stay at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
For anyone who must travel during Lunar New Year, eDriving is sharing the following road safety tips:
- Adhere to international, national and regional COVID-19 guidance regarding permitted travel purposes, including guidance in your intended destination.
- 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. Take hygiene and sanitation factors into account (what do you need to carry with you? e.g. hand sanitiser, disinfectant wipes, etc.). Also consider the best route to take and plan safe locations for regular rest breaks.
- Travel outside of peak times if you can. Don’t forget to tell someone of your intended route and estimated time of arrival.
- Carry out vehicle checks, including fluid levels, fuel, lights, tyre pressures, tyre condition, brakes, battery and wiper blades. Consult a professional if you’re unsure how to carry out any checks. Pack an emergency kit that includes a blanket, de-icer, water, non-perishable food, car charger for your phone, warning triangle, basic first-aid kit, torch.
- Wear a helmet and other suitable safety clothing if riding a two-wheeler.
- Wear your seat belt – and make sure everyone else in your vehicle wears theirs too.
- Eliminate the potential to be distracted during your trip by putting your phone away and setting up GPS before you drive. Be aware of external distractions too, such as fireworks and Chinese lanterns; ask passengers not to point these out while you’re driving. See our Distracted Driving Best Practice Guide.
- Look out for pedestrians out celebrating. Expect more people on foot than usual; and remember that they could be impaired.
- If you are drinking alcohol, don’t drive. Plan ahead for a safe ride home, whether it is a taxi, a lift with a sober friend or a ride share. Or, consider staying the night instead. Remember the “morning after” effect too; you could still be impaired the morning after drinking alcohol.
- Avoid driving tired. If you have a long way to travel, get a good night’s sleep beforehand. If you’re tired from partying, get enough rest before you get back behind the wheel. See our Fatigue Best Practice Guide.
Wishing you good fortune and happy Lunar New Year!
Visit eDriving’s COVID-19 Resource Centre for coronavirus-related news, guidance and resources.