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Safety tips for river rafting

River rafting is one of the most exciting and thrilling experiences for anyone who loves a good adventure. However, since you’ll be at the mercy of nature it is a good idea to take some precautions before launching yourself on the rough rapids of any river.

Below are some simple and easy to follow tips for making the most out of your river rafting experience.

Educate yourself

You’re going river rafting but you don’t know anything about it other than the fact that you’ll be riding down a river? Do some research and get to know what you’re capable of taking on. If you’ve never river rafted before, then it would be advisable to avoid going on a Class V river for your first time.

Learn about the river

Depending on the location and season, some rivers will have a higher volume of water either during winter or summer. Gather some information about the river you’ll be going on and get to know how it functions during the various seasons. Bear in mind that some rivers, like the Orange River, have rafting options at different points along its length. These points vary in intensity, so you’ll have to pick your destination carefully.

Know your endurance levels

Depending on the level and length of your trip, you might need to consider strengthening your body’s endurance levels. If you can’t swim, then don’t even consider going river rafting until you’ve taken some lessons!

Always follow the instructions of your guide

This is a fairly straightforward one, but worth mentioning. Always follow the instructions of your guide, he knows best what to be done and when. Your guide will let you know when you have to lean to the left or right, paddle or stop paddling, or sit in and out.

No alcohol before rafting

Ok, so many of us want to have fun and make as much of the experience as possible, but don’t drink alcohol before rafting, no matter how tempting you might find it. You’re not only putting your own life at risk but everyone else’s around you as well. Your adrenaline levels will already be pumping from the exhilarating rush of the water.

Wear a life jacket, helmet and water shoes

No matter what happens, make sure that you have a life vest and helmet on at all times. Your life jacket and helmet should fit comfortably on your body and head, without restricting your bodily movements and paddling. And lastly, wearing water shoes will also make your trip more fun and comfortable, as it will allow you to avoid slipping on rocks or other hazardous objects in the river.


Written by Ivelina Dineva

Image credit: Julia Rosen, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0, via Flickr

How telematics could improve driver safety

If a distribution company implements an effective driver training system, their workers may suffer fewer traffic accidents and be less likely to make a claim. Consequently, policy-holders may also be entitled to cheaper van insurance at renewal.

In addition, successfully training drivers may also help to improve worker productivity and allow companies to build-up a good reputation amongst shareholders, investors and communities.

However, before starting training, employers should establish which methods are effective. Otherwise, even with the best of intentions, their efforts could be wasted.

One of the more conventional ways to improve driver behaviour involves emailing workers with hints and tips to help them become safer, more considerate motorists.

Yet, according to driver training company Peak Performance, this system is largely ineffective.

The firm believes employees with a busy workload may not read emails which are not integral to their assignments. Moreover, managers who send out mass training emails or newsletters cannot be certain if respondents have read them or are even taking them seriously.

Driver training is about seeing long-lasting viable effects, and employers should investigate methods which ultimately allow workers to become safer road users. To do this, the organisation feels companies should hire a fully-qualified professional trainer to teach their drivers in a one-to-one setting or through interactive workshops.

If in doubt, employers should interview staff members to uncover which approaches are most beneficial. Yet, one solution could involve telematics technology.

How telematics may benefit driver training
Telematics technology may help employees drive safely and possibly reduce the price of the company’s van insurance policy.

When an employer purchases telematics cover, they will have data collection devices fitted to their vehicles. These boxes monitor various driving-related aspects, such as a van’s speed, acceleration, braking and location.

Outside the workplace, one telematics insurance company claims customers aged between 17 and 21, were 75% less likely to be responsible for a traffic accident after having had a policy with them for 11 months.

Proof that these devices can be greatly beneficial to corporations has also been collected in a business environment. For example, after fitting telematics devices to 2,200 vans in 2008, Tesco reported that it had managed to save 12% on its fuel consumption and 6% on damage caused by vehicle collisions.

If an employee drove badly, their behaviour was recorded. This allowed duty-holders to remedy the situation. Moreover, Tesco also used a league table system to highlight the employees which were performing admirably.

As well as saving money on repairs and fuel consumption, by making sure employees drove safely and responsibly, Tesco may have also received cheaper van insurance when it came to renew its vehicle cover.

This guest post was provided by iVan Insurance, a van-only insurer. To find out more about our services, click here to visit our website.