Road trip safety: Six things to check before you hit the road

Road trip safety: The things to check before you hit the road

Make sure you do these six things before embarking on your next family road trip.

Family road trip
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The schools holidays mean many families will be taking road trips.

But before you go on your road trip, you need to make sure your vehicle is ready for the journey.

They is nothing worse than being stuck on the side of the road with a car full of agitated, bored or hungry kids.

READ: What to do in the event of a car accident

You need a reliable vehicle to not only get you from point A to B, but also to ensure your family's safety. 

If you want your family's road trip to be as hassle free as possible, then these tips will come in handy. 

Check all your fluids

Before you embark on your road trip, make sure you check all the necessary fluids. These include engine oil, coolant levels in the reservoir (check when the engine is cold), radiator fluid, brake fluid, power steering fluid, and clutch fluid. You also need to make sure your windscreen wiper fluid is also working just in case you experience bad weather on your trip. If you have no idea how to check these things, then it is best to get a car service company to do it. And while you are there get them to check your brake pads. 

Check your tyres

This is the one thing most drivers remember to check before going on a road trip, but some people forget to check the spare as well. Make sure all your tyres have good tread on them, and in good working condition. Good tyre traction is important, especially in bad weather, so this is one thing you want to make sure you do thoroughly. You can also stop by your local gas station to check your tyre pressure before starting your journey. 

Check your battery 

Make sure your car's battery terminals are secured properly and are clean. You do not want to take a break during your trip only to find that you can't start your car again. 

Check your lights

Get someone to help you check all your car lights such as your indicator lights, headlights, tail lights, and brake lights. You need all your lights to be working correctly for safe driving during all times of the day. 

Check luggage 

Here's something that many people forget to do. Not only can over loading damage your vehicle, but it can also be hazardous in the event of an accident. It also effects the fuel economy of your vehicle. Your vehicle's weight load capacity is usually listed on a sticker inside the driver's door jam. Make sure your luggage is also secured properly. 

Check your emergency tool kit

Don't forget to check that your emergency kit has everything you need, and we are not just talking about your red reflective warning triangle and tools to change a flat tyre. You also need to make sure you have a map in there, just in case your GPS stops working, as well as a first aid kit. 

And finally, it is a good idea to wash your car before your trip to make sure all your windows are clean - which will ensure good visibility. Check your wiper blades as well, and make sure your licence disc is valid. Don't forget to carry enough money for petrol stops and tolls. A car phone charger or cellphone power bank is also a good idea.

READ: Win with Budget Insurance!

Image Credit: iStock


A share of R100 000 to be won with The Budget Buddy on Jacaranda FM

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