Christmas is always a hectic time of year, often seeing us embark on lengthy trips to visit family and friends. Making sure all the presents and luggage are packed will be at the front of your mind, but it’s also important to consider that bad weather and the hustle and bustle of the festive period can make driving more hazardous.. Here are some helpful tips to keep you and your family safe on the roads this summer.
* Weather - Checking the weather before setting out on your trip is always a must. Watch out for unpredictable weather and plan accordingly.
Link to the NZ Metservice website: http://www.metservice.com
* Tyres - your tyres will take some wear and tear on the road in the hot summer months, so make sure there is adequate tread, the correct air pressure is in each tyre, and that your spare, and tool kit is in good shape.
* Front Windscreen – check your wiper blades so that your visibility isn’t impaired should you encounter some torrential summer rain. Top up your washer bottle too!
* Belts and hoses – have a look at your fan belts, as these are responsible for keeping the overall cooling system from overheating. If they are looking frayed, they might need replacing. The hoses should be free of cracks so that they continue to pump coolant to the radiator.
* Filters – air filters need to be cleared of debris for good airflow to keep the engine cool, and keep the air conditioning system clear.
* Oil check – conduct an oil check before your trip this Christmas so that your engine is properly lubricated in the warm weather.
* Battery – give your battery a once over, cleaning off any built up gunk and checking all connections are secure, and keep some jumper leads in your boot.
* Lights – it’s a requirement to have all headlights and brake lights in working order to be on the road, but it’s worth double-checking that none need replacing to avoid any problems.
First aid kit – keep a first aid kit handy is always a good idea, for any unexpected injuries or health issues.
* Extra Time - If you’re travelling any great distance for the holidays, then chances are, you’ll be sharing the road with many other families who are doing the same. The traffic level can be unpredictable at this time, so better to be cautious and allow for extra time, especially if you’re travelling just before Christmas Day or New Year's eve. There may be more caravans and trailers towing boats and jet skis on the road, which can cause minor delays and require extra caution from all drivers. So allow an extra amount of time for your journey, even if you’ve done it before. Better to arrive safe and calm than rush and put your family or anyone else in danger!
Link to the NZTA to check the latest traffic reports: https://nzta.govt.nz/traffic-a...
* Keep the kids busy - Keeping the kids occupied by bringing along plenty of activities they can do in the back seat to let you concentrate on driving. You could also play games, an audio book, or strap a tablet to the back of the seat to let them watch their favourite cartoons.
From all the team at Dave Allen Motors, we hope you all have a Merry Christmas / Happy New Year!