Ready for the road
The masses have returned from the beach and after drooling over social media posts, it’s finally your turn to hit the surf and get your tan on.
Here are some tips – courtesy of Battery Centre – to help make your trip even safer, not just for you, but also those who share the road with you.
Before starting on your journey, make sure you are well rested. Avoid alcohol and go to bed early the night before. Drinking coffee before bed can also prohibit a good night’s rest. Opt for herbal teas instead.
Make sure you have a checklist of all the things you need to take with on your holiday, and tick the items as you pack. Start packing well in advance to avoid stress on the morning of your journey.
Pre-trip car checks:
Battery Centre’s top five essentials to keep in your car.
1. Safety first
A basic first-aid kit can go a long way if you have an accident, or are just feeling under the weather while on the road. Most new vehicles come with a basic first-aid kit, but you can also put together your own. Include bandages, ointments for bee-stings and medication like painkillers for headaches – just make sure they don’t have any side-effects, like drowsiness. Most pharmacies also sell ready-to-go first-aid kits.
2. Car repair information and manual
Always keep the business card of your auto repair shop or mechanic, the number for AA (if you’re a member), the details of your closest Battery Centre and car insurance details, including claim forms, in the car. It may seem unnecessary, because we store numbers on our mobile phones – but remember, your phone battery can run flat.
Manuals also contain useful information on how to keep your car running properly, like the type of oil to use, maintenance intervals and maximum loads to carry or tow. They contain vital information on how to operate your car’s features or troubleshooting.
3. Spare wheel
Ensure you have spare wheel (in good condition), along with a wheel wrench and jack. If the wheel requires a security key or lock nut, keep this safely stored in the car too. A tyre pressure gauge is useful for preventive maintenance – keeping your tyres fully inflated improves your mileage and reduces the risk of tyre bursts.
4. Jumper cables
Flat batteries happen to the best of us. Always have an emergency battery booster on hand and make sure you know how to jump-start your car safely. A hazard triangle is essential for alerting other drivers you’ve broken down. In case of any battery emergency, contact the nearest Battery Centre for assistance.
5. Cell phone charger
Keep a phone charger with you in case your phone battery dies. A power bank is the best option because it won’t drain your car battery. These power banks are available from your nearest Battery Centre.
The age-old adage applies to your car: hope for the best but prepare for the worst. Even if you have roadside assistance, a car emergency kit is designed to help keep you safe until help arrives.
Insurance brokers and risk advisers, Aon, offer these five tips to tick off your checklist.
1. Avoid driving in heavy rainfall and storms.
Many car accident claims are due to slippery roads and treacherous potholes hidden in the water. Heavy rainfall can also cause potholes to appear where there weren’t any previously.
2. Don’t assume that you are covered for everything.
Remember to check your motor insurance policy for some covers which may not form part of your standard wording such as dent cover, tyre cover, hail damage cover and so on.
3. Is your vehicle insured for the retail value?
Ideally, you want your insurer to replace like for like to avoid being forced into a compromise if you have to replace your car.
4. Who is driving your vehicle?
Make sure that your policy covers any individual that may drive your vehicle with your permission. Open driver policies will cover any person with a valid driver’s licence driving with your permission while other policies may contain a restricted driver clause.
5. All Risks cover
Items that ‘travel’ with you and leave your home, such as jewellery, laptops, cell phones, bicycles and so on must be appropriately specified under your ‘All Risks’ section of your policy for the replacement value.
Your car should be up to date with its maintenance service before your holiday starts. Make sure your car is thoroughly checked by a legitimate mechanic. Visit your local tyre expert to make sure your tyres are in good condition and you have no punctures.
While on the road:
Remember that your holiday starts the moment you get in the car, so try to make it enjoyable for the whole family. Pack enough snacks, games, movies and music to keep the children entertained. Having a GPS handy will help you find rest stops along the way. Make sure you don’t overload your car, as this will increase your fuel consumption and rob your car of power. Take a break every two hours for a cup of coffee or energy drink. Stick to the rules of the road and be careful. Most of all, enjoy your holiday, you deserve it!