The car safety checks you should make before a road trip

Before hitting the road for a well-earned holiday, it’s important to check that your car is in running order.

For a smooth and stress-free road trip, Daniel Cotterill, Senior Manager of Product Communications for Holden, shares some common car safety checks that you might not have thought about.

Before you hit the road

Daniel recommends checking that all fluid (oil, coolant, washer fluid) levels are checked and topped up where needed. Ensure all lights and indicators are in working order. “Not only does this impact safety, but it is also a road violation to drive with one of your head or tail lamps out,” he adds.

An easy one to forget about is reviewing your tyre pressure. “Check your owner’s manual to ensure you know the correct air pressure for your tyres and add air to any tyres that might be low,” Daniel says. Also make sure that your spare tyre isn’t flat, he adds.

Safety first

If you’re setting off to more remote or rural areas, Daniel says packing a small road safety kit is a great idea.

He details that your kit should include: Tyre jack, inflator kit (if applicable), jumper cables, flashlight, utility gloves, tow strap and a blanket. Daniel also recommends packing a small first aid kit, so you’re prepared for anything. This kit could include: Band-Aids, gauze pads, safety pins, adhesive tape, antibiotic ointment, tweezers, hand sanitiser and eye drops.

“Lastly, ensure that your phone and infotainment system are synced up and you have downloaded any apps, contacts or maps you will want or need during your trip,” he says.

On the road

Once you’re on the road, Daniel says there are a couple of things to keep in mind.

Driving long distances can certainly cause fatigue, but in many new cars there are handy additions that can help us. “For example, there’s a Lane Departure Warning feature in the Holden Equinox that alerts the driver to the fact the car is crossing into another lane,” Daniel explains. “If the driver doesn’t immediately react, it takes the feedback a step further, by gently nudging the car’s steering back toward the centre of the road.”

Another common hazard is battling with blind spots, but now there are cars that assist with this, too. “The Holden Equinox has a blind spot indicator that lets the driver know if there is an object, person or vehicle in an area around the back or sides of the vehicle,” Daniel explains. “A signal on the side mirror notifies the driver that something is in their blind spot. This indicator helps drivers safely navigate the roads.” Other cars may give an audio alert if they also have this feature.

For more road trip inspiration stream or watch Eight Go Rallying: The Road to Saigon on Lifestyle, Tuesdays 9.30pm EDT.

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