Staying safe while travelling
Whether you’re travelling for pleasure or for work, driving long distances bring with it a set of risks that shorter trips usually don’t.
From the added potential of vehicle breakdowns to the unpredictability of weather conditions, there are several factors you need to account for. In today’s article, we offer some tips on what you should definitely plan for with your next big trip.
Have your vehicle serviced
Before heading out on any big trip that could see on you on the road for several days, it’s a good move to put your vehicle in for a general service. This way, a mechanic can look over your vehicle and fix any little things that could present an issue on prolonged trips. In addition to this, if they happen to find any more concerning problems, they can inform of you these and fix them before you head out. Just make sure you have a good amount of money on hand just in case there are any major issues that need to addressed.
Check oil and water levels
On the day you’re set to travel, make sure take the time to check your vehicle’s oil and water levels. If either are below the suggested level, fill them up. While slightly lower-than-normal levels aren’t of much concern for a normal quick trip to the shops or a friend’s place, they are of great concern if you’re going to be driving for several hours over a period of days or weeks. Low oil and water levels can lead to engine problems, which in turn can damage your vehicle. The last thing you’ll want is to be left stranded with a busted vehicle in the middle of nowhere.
So up your levels if needed, and make sure to take your water and oil with you so you can level them up again if necessary.
Take it slow
When driving great distances, it’s not uncommon for many of us to feel that itch of wanting to get to our destination as quickly as possible. But it’s important to remember that rushing the journey can often be a bad thing. Besides placing more risk on yourself and anyone else in the vehicle as a result of speeding, you will also be placing more risk on others. Not only that, but pushing your vehicle can do damage that could ultimately see you on the side of the road, wishing you had just taken it easy. So take it slow, follow the speed limits and plan your journey out so that you enjoy the trip, not just the final destination.
Also, don’t forget that you need to rest. If you feel tired, pullover, have a bite to eat, top up on fluids and rest for a bit.
Adapt to the conditions
If there is one thing that is certain about Australia, it’s that our weather conditions can be very uncertain. That’s why, when travelling, you need to be prepared for anything. Severe storms could cause floods, you may find yourself having to navigate around an area hit by bushfires, etc. Just remember not to panic. Assess each situation as it comes and decide on whether you can keep going or if you may have to stop off somewhere for a while (e.g. a motel). Listen to the radio for updates on weather conditions and make sure you’ve packed some food/water and toiletry supplies to keep you going until weather conditions settle down.