It’s time to start preparing for the annual holiday road trip.
Before starting the journey, you should do some car maintenance and trip planning.
Here are some tips for you to consider which should help make your holiday road trip a safe, relaxing and happy experience:
- Make sure your car service is done in time before you head on out
- Check wiper blades and replace if necessary
- Test the battery
- Check tyre pressure and that they are appropriately inflated according to the manufacturer’s recommendations for the load they are going to carry
- Check tyre tread depth
- Fill the windshield washer reservoir
- Check all car fluid levels and top up if necessary
- Fill your fuel tank before heading out and check your fuel levels along the way
- Check brakes
- Ensure all your lights and electrics are in working order
- If you are towing, ensure the caravan or trailer is roadworthy, licensed and properly prepared for your trip
- Listen to your car and drive with a sense of mechanical understanding to ensure you do not put unnecessary strain on your vehicle. Gear down for hills in good time, especially when you are towing, to avoid labouring the engine in too high a gear. If you are on a long downhill, take it easy, don’t push on the brakes too hard to maintain your speed, rather select a lower gear.
- Pack an emergency first-aid kit
- Pack jumper cables
- Pack flashlights with fresh batteries and warning triangles
- Map your route before you head out on your trip
- Be prepared for busy roads/roadworks and have an alternative route in mind
- Check the weather and know what kind of conditions you might be driving through to get to your destination
- Regularly check your following distances
- Pack drinking water, snack bars, food packs for the family and pets if taking them on holiday with you
- Keep the kids/pets safe and strap your children safely in the vehicle
- Keep the children busy – pack books, games, DVDs or whatever will keep them entertained and comfortable and stop them from distracting you
- Pack chargers for your mobile phones
- Secure your valuables as the holidays are prime time for thieves – a vehicle full of items in plain view will attract them. Don’t make yourself a tempting target and keep your valuables and wrapped presents in the boot or a covered area
- Take regular breaks from driving – breaking up the drive periodically will keep you more alert while you’re on the road
- Avoid speeding – it’s best to follow the speed limit not only to ensure your safety but also the safety of those around you
- Don’t drink and drive – for your safety and those around you
- Make sure you get a full night’s sleep before departing- not getting enough sleep can negatively impact your motor skills, slowing down your reaction time
- Endnote – while it can be stressful driving during the holiday season – take time to relax, be patient and enjoy the experience. The holidays are a great time to celebrate and spend time with friends and loved ones. By planning ahead and driving safely you can ensure this season is a safe and joyous one.
If you are concerned about your vehicle’s maintenance or need a service, we have you covered! Book your vehicle in at an e-CAR workshop near you http://www.e-car.co.za/book-a-service/