The Easter break is nearing, and many South Africans are excitedly planning a road trip to spend this special holiday recharging in one of the country’s scenic locations or catching up with friends and family living in other provinces.
But while you are looking forward to hitting the road with your everyday cares left behind, remember that a safe and reliable car is key to making the most of your well-deserved break. This reminder should not dampen your plans or excitement about the upcoming weekend since a little planning goes a long way when it comes to making a safe journey by car. Performing only a few simple checks will help you to have a peaceful and rejuvenating break.
While planning your holiday, the first steps are to ensure that all the necessary maintenance or repairs are carried out and that your vehicle’s services are up to date. Also plan your route so that you can avoid busy roads and peak traffic, where possible and enjoy frequent rest stops every 200 kilometers.
Before embarking on your journey, take the time to inspect all the components of your vehicle so that it is in mint condition to get you to your destination safely. Your checklist for a safe ride should include the following:
- Make use of apps that monitor your driving behaviour so that you can develop safety habits on the road;
- Examine the car tyres (including your spare tyre) to ensure they are in a good, safe condition and conform to regulations;
- Test the car brakes and shock absorbers;
- Check that the windscreen wipers are working;
- Adjust windows and mirrors to provide optimum visibility;
- Ensure all the electrical components of your car, including lights and indicators are working;
- Check that you have roadside assistance in place and keep the contact details handy;
- Don’t ignore the rest warnings from your car while driving long distances;
- Perform the standard oil and water checks at a fuel station.
Although by taking steps that are within your control to ensure your road trip goes according to plan, you also need to ensure you are prepared for unforeseen events such as road incidents. Unfortunately, the Easter period is known for its high accident rate despite road safety campaigns like Arrive Alive trying to restrict poor driving behaviour.
“To this end, Standard Bank Insurance offers a range of car insurance products, designed to protect you against dreaded eventualities like collisions, theft, fire or even acts of nature that cause loss or damage on your road journey,” says Dr Hardy Ncube of Standard Bank Insurance. “Taking out our limited or comprehensive insurance cover also allows you to call on roadside assistance to help with emergencies at any time.”
While you are planning for an Easter that is filled with joy and peace, it sets your mind at ease when you are covered against any mishaps on the road.