With thousands of South Aussies expected to hit the road this Christmas holiday period, it's a good idea to make sure your vehicle is ready for the trip.
The following tips will not only help make your trip enjoyable, but also assists police, especially as they roll out their Christmas campaign to target drivers.
- Before leaving on a trip, book your car in to be tested and/or serviced by a professional for peace of mind. Getting stuck on the side of the road with the sun beating down is the last thing you want to be doing as you set out on your holidays.
- Just before you leave, adopt a five-point safety check of the vehicle's tyres, brakes, suspension, lights, window wipers and restraints, either by a professional mechanic or get them to show you how.
- Ensure you have extra water, oil and fuel supplies, a first aid kit, a fire extinguisher and most importantly don't forget the spare tyre, jack and jumper leads.
- If taking a boat, caravan or camper trailer make sure your vehicle is suitable for towing size and weight capacity and has mirrors correctly positioned. The tow should be evenly loaded with the brake lights and signals working and tow fittings and couplings are fastened property.
- Ensure child safety restraints are up-to-date and fitted correctly.
The summer holidays are one of the busiest times on the road and with drivers often becoming impatient extra caution is needed.
- Adopt responsible behaviour behind the wheel by keeping a safe distance between your vehicle and others, pay attention while driving and abide by the road conditions.
- Plan your drive ahead of time and have an alternative route in mind if there are any road closures, traffic congestion or road construction.
- Taking a break every two hours or sharing the drive will help combat driver fatigue or you can pull over at a rest stop along the route and go for a stretch and a walk. This will not only help the driver but allow kids to blow off some steam.
- If the trip is long you might want to pack a small esky with some finger food and easy pop-top bottles of water. It not only keeps hunger pains at bay but it is usually quite a lot cheaper than stopping for food along the way.