While road awareness, obeying the law and stopping for breaks can all be important, the condition of your vehicle and trailer significantly contributes to road safety and accident prevention. This is especially important on those longer drives, such as holiday road trips. With that in mind, here are 7 checks you should make on your vehicle before travelling on the long weekend to ensure safety for both your vehicle and passengers.
- Keep an Eye on Your Tyres
To protect your tyres against blowouts, ensure they have no foreign objects such as nails lodged in them.
You should also check for tears, punctures and leaks, as well as tread depth – which will ensure your car maintains a safe grip on the road. This should be a minimum of 1.5mm. Make sure your tyres are well pumped too – check your manual or ask an expert if you’re unsure about proper pressures.
Packing a spare tyre is also a good idea.
- Replace Your Brakes
Worn brake pads will have reduced effectiveness and this could be important in emergency situations. Ensure your brake pads are checked by a professional and replaced before your travel if necessary.
- Fix all Your Fluid Levels
There are a range of fluid levels that will need checking before you travel. Make sure that you have these fluid levels examined.
- Brake fluid
- Clutch fluid
- Automatic transmission fluid
- Power steering fluid
- Water levels
It is also recommended that you have your coolant hoses checked for their condition to prevent leaking.
- Test Your Lights
Long road trips often mean varying conditions and light levels. Ensure that all your lights are working correctly and at a strong level before you travel. These include headlights and high beams, as well as reverse, brake, and indicator lights – all critically important in seeing, avoiding or alerting others to potential hazards on the road.
- Towing a Load
If you’re towing a boat, caravan, car or trailer, to ensure that your vehicle is fit for the job. You should also ensure that tow bar connections, couplings and chains are property fastened and won’t come loose while driving.
Ensure that your number plate and lights are always visible and that any trailers are loaded evenly, not overloaded.
If you’re unsure about your vehicle or your load’s condition for towing, always talk to a mechanic first.
- Windscreen Wipers
It’s easy to take the simplest things for granted. On long trips in changing conditions you might end up relying on your windscreen wipers. Ensure that they are working properly before you travel. If your windscreen wipers are streaky or broken, you need to replace them as soon as possible.
- Plan for Petrol
Not only is it important to have a full tank before you leave, it’s important to plan out when you will be refilling petrol. Especially in more rural parts of Australia, petrol stations can become scarce, so be sure to do your planning in that regard.
Those are just 7 tips for preparing your car for travel. Some of them you can implement yourself, but it’s always recommended to book into your mechanic before your trip.
At Stacks Goudkamp we specialise in personal injury compensation. We hope that you will never have to call us but unfortunately, accidents sometimes still happen. If you have been hurt in a motor vehicle accident while travelling in Australia or overseas, explore our website for more information about our services. Alternatively telephone our office on 1800 46 2359 for a free no obligation assessment of your case, or make an online enquiry.