Safety Tips and Car Insurance Tips for Your Next Road Trip
South Africans appreciate the ability to travel and explore our country’s diverse landscapes, rich cultures, and interesting sites. A road trip can refresh your soul and renew a positive outlook on life. And before you start your engine, you can use our comprehensive car insurance and safety checklist to make sure your car won’t let you down mid-trip.
A List of Road Safety Tips and Car Insurance Checks for Road Trips
- Car Tyres
- Tyre Tread
- Inflation of the Tyre
- The Spare Wheel
- Check the Jack and Iron Set
- Brake Pads
- Car Lights
- Emergency Kits
- Car Insurance
A Comprehensive Road Safety Checklist for Your Car
When travelling anywhere car safety is important. But when you plan a long road trip, it is vital. Getting stuck on the side of the road in another province might ruin your relaxing fun. You can avoid that by doing these safety and car insurance checks before you head into the horizon.
There are professionals out there that can check these things for you. If you don’t have the time to go through these checks, contact a service provider near you to make sure everything is in good order before your trip.
1. How to Check Your Car’s Tyres before a Road Trip
Many reputable car brands say that a car’s performance on the road relies heavily on the condition and quality of its tyres. If you are heading to the open road for a long drive, a tyre check could save your life. You can check the below items at home or get a professional to do it for you.
Tyre Tread. Your tyre’s tread should be at least 1cm deep.
(The tyre tread is the grooves on the face of the tyre. These grooves are designed to disperse water away from the area where the rubber meets the road). In doing so, your tyres will not slip on the road if it rains or if you drive on a wet surface. Measure the depth of the tread on all four tyres. If one has less tread than 1cm deep, it will need to be replaced before your road trip.
Your tyres should be inflated to a certain level of bars. If one is less inflated than the others, it could indicate a slow leak or puncture. If a tyre is punctured or has a slow leak, it’s best to replace it before you travel long distances.
When you do find yourself stranded next to the road with a flat tyre, your spare is going to save the day. Make sure it’s there and that it has sufficient tread and inflation.
Jack and Iron Set.
To fix a flat tyre on the side of the road, you will need the tyre jack and iron. Many cars have these packed into the same spot the spare tyre is. Make sure you have a jack and iron set before your travels. If you need one, many automotive shops have them. You can sometimes find them at hardware stores or even large commercial retailers.
2. Are Your Brake Pads Good to Go?
Most people get the professionals to check their brake pads, but you don’t have to. You can check them at home too. Look at the calliper located next to the brake rotor. You need to measure the tiny gap between the calliper and rotor. A straw can help you measure it easily. If the straw goes deeper than 8.5mm, your brake pads are fine. If it is less, you need to get them replaced before your road trip.<
3. Check Your Car’s Lights.
With the help of a companion or family member, you can check all your lights in quick order. All your lights should work when used as they should be. Indicators, fog lights, brights, headlights, emergency lights, and brake lights. If one isn’t working, you can get a bulb and replace it yourself at home. If you’re taking a trailer on your trip, remember to do these checks on it too.
4. Remember the Car Battery.
Can you tell at home if your battery needs to be replaced? There are a few signs. First, your car may struggle to start. Your battery may also look bloated or may appear to be leaking. In either case, it’s best to replace it if it isn’t in optimal condition anymore. This could save you a lot of trouble on your road trip and can keep you and your passengers much safer.
5. Are the Wipers Still Sound?
If it rains while your wipers are in bad condition, it could lead to an accident. Windscreen wipers can deteriorate within a year or two. You can replace them on a schedule or check them before your road trip to make sure they are sound. Look for cracked rubber or rubber separating from the metal rod of the wiper. Also ensure the wipers function as they should by testing them while the car is on.
6. Check the Car’s Fluids.
For fluid car operation, drivers should check all the fluids before embarking on a lengthy trip. Oil and water, of course, but check the other less familiar fluids too. Things like brake fluid, transmission fluid, coolant, and power steering fluid. Your car’s user manual will help you find the right places to check these. If you’re struggling, you can always let a technician check it for you. Simply top up the fluids that need it.
7. Is Your Emergency Kit in Place?
If you should find yourself in an emergency, an emergency kit could save your life. It can include items like a first aid kit, jumper cables, a flashlight, a multi-tool, and a solar powered phone charger or portable battery-powered charger. Check that your car triangle is packed in and even pack some water and snacks just in case.
8. Is Your Car Insurance up to Date?
This is the only thing to check that isn’t physically found on your car, but it is the most important one. Car insurance can cover you if you’re in an accident, if your car breaks down, and even if it is stolen. Comprehensive car insurance plans give you even more cover and benefits like roadside assistance. To check that your car insurance is in order, make sure your payments are up to date and check terms and conditions on your car insurance policy.
Some policies only cover the car with certain drivers or if certain things are done (for example, parking the car in a locked garage). If you don’t have car insurance; it is advisable for a safe road trip to cover yourself financially against unforeseen events. You can get car insurance easily. Simply fill in our online form, and an insurer will call you with a quote.