AS schools across Mzansi close on 15 December, traffic on our major routes is expected to seriously increase.

The Automobile Association of South Africa says motorists must prepare both their attitudes and cars properly for journeys, not only having your car in good condition, but a positive attitude behind the wheel.

“Getting enough rest before embarking on a long ride, obeying the rules of the road, and being courteous to other drivers is equally important. With our country’s high rate of crashes and fatalities, it’s everyone’s responsibility to ensure they play their part in making our roads safer.”

Traffic volumes are expected to pick up on the N1 from Polokwane to Cape Town through Gauteng and Bloemfontein, the N2 along the Indian Ocean coast, the N3 from Gauteng to KZN, the N4 through Mpumalanga and the N7 from Cape Town through Namaqualand to the Namibian border.

“Roads will be busier and that means there’s an increased risk of incidents. All road users must remain as vigilant as possible and focus on the road, whether they’re drivers, passengers, riding a motorcycle, or a pedestrian.”

Tips for travellers:

• Keep left, pass right. Make way for drivers moving quicker than you. Driving too slow in a lane when faster vehicles are behind you is risky and leads to road rage incidents.

• Ensure everyone in the vehicle, front and back, buckles up.

• Drink or drive. If you do one, don’t do the other. It’s the same if you are walking: drink or walk.

• If walking, be visible at all times, especially at night, dawn or dusk and in poorly-lit areas.

• Take a breather every two hours or every 200km to stay alert behind the wheel.

• If you’re a biker or on a bicycle, wear a helmet and protective gear.

• Drive to the conditions of the road, not necessarily to the speed limit.

• Distracted driving is dangerous. Put your cellphone in the boot and use only in an emergency.

• Ensure your tyres and spare are in a good condition.

• Ensure your windscreen wipers front and back are in good condition. Even new wiper blades may deteriorate quickly if left in the sun for long periods.

• Be prepared for any roadside, medical or security situation by downloading the AA RescueMe app, available on all platforms.