Every school holidays thousands of Australian families travel long distances by car to get to a chosen holiday spot.
Being protected by the right car insurance policy is the first step to ensuring you’re adequately prepared for things that may go wrong but there are also other steps you can take to maintain driving safety for yourself and family.
Driving in wet or hazardous weather
Prepare for your journey to take longer when you are driving in wet conditions. It’s sensible to increase the gap between you and the vehicle you’re following to four or five seconds and remember to use your low beam headlights as high beam will reflect off the wet road surface and hinder your vision. Make sure your windscreen wipers are in good working condition and ensure that your windscreen is clean – both inside and out.
Driving in fog
This is the time to use the fog lights on your car, if you have them. If not, dip your headlights or use your low beams to keep the light on the road and not directed up into the fog. DO NOT use high beams, as this will only light up the fog but won’t pierce it.
Driving a campervan
Before you head out on your trip make sure your tyres are at the correct pressure and that all loose items inside the vehicle are secured… you don’t want kitchen knives and glasses flying about the cabin.
You will also need to take extra care when checking your blind spot due to the larger size of a campervan and remember that the weight of the vehicle will require more time to stop in an emergency situation.
General tips for safer holiday driving
It’s very important to check your car thoroughly including all fluid levels [water, automatic transmission, brake, clutch, power steering fluids] and to top up if necessary. Check the tread on all tyres, including the spare and of course the tyre pressure. Make sure the brakes are all in good working order including finding a hill to test the handbrake.
If possible you should aim to share the driving. If that isn’t possible you must take rest breaks at regular intervals. Pull off the road and have a power nap if you are feeling tired or drowsy. TIP: to avoid drowsiness when driving, never drive when you would normally be asleep.
Ensuring that you and your vehicle are in top condition takes preparation and planning but it will keep you safe and make your road trip a memorable and rewarding holiday.
This was posted in collaboration with our friends at Real Insurance.