We are a family who love to day trip. We spend most weekends travelling somewhere by car, a lot of our family live a couple of hours drive away so we will visit them or just take ourselves off to the coast or countryside for a walk. Basically, we love each other but can’t bear to be in each others company for a whole weekend!
I jest of course.
I don’t drive yet, I fully intend to and I wish I had taken lessons before now. I never saw the importance in learning to drive until I had children but now I’ve got children I’ll admit I’m wary of being a new driver with such a precious cargo.
Luckily, Rory is super efficient and totally up to speed with keeping us safe while we travel so I don’t need to worry about that yet but are YOU in the know with basic car safety checks? Summer is coming and the warmer weather and school holidays mean more of us will be travelling further afield so in collaboration with DAT tyres, here is a handy check list for you.
7 Car Care & Tyres Tips: For Safe Family Travel
Travelling on the road with your loved ones on board should mean that you prioritise safety even more than usual. With your family around you, it is sometimes easy to become distracted. However, your focus on safety should start even before you head out on the open road. Don’t invest in a car with all of the latest safety gizmos and highest safety ratings only to fail to check the basic ones that all cars come with! Car care need not take long and should be a part of all drivers’ routines – not just those with families. If you want to keep your kids protected whilst they travel with you, here is what you need to do.
- Car Tyres & Tread Depth
Checking that your vehicle’s tyres have enough depth in their tread is a legal requirement. Even a small patch on your tyres that does not meet the minimum requirement can land you in trouble. Worse still, it could mean failing to stop in an emergency and endangering the lives of your family. For tyres in London, you can get from DAT tyres – with a professional checking for tread depth. Professional treatment won’t just let you know if your tyres are street legal for depth but also warn you of other signs of wear, such as bulges and cracks in the hard-to-spot inner tyre wall.
- Electrics Check
Before you start out on any journey that might mean you are driving in the dark or adverse weather conditions, you must make sure the electrics work well. This includes essential services like the windscreen wipers, heating and the car’s indicator lights. Without them, you simply cannot manoeuvre safely.
- Under Inflated Car Tyres
When driving with your family you must ensure your tyres are pumped up enough. If not, then you won’t be able to stop in time if there is something blocking the road ahead. You may even find that your car cannot swerve out of the way effectively. As well as making your car safer to drive, pumping up your tyres will help you to drive more efficiently.
- Over Inflated Tyres
Before you drive away with your children on board, think about when you last used your car. Did you pump the tyres up hard because you were towing something or had a boot full of heavy items? If so, then your tyres may be inflated beyond their usual running pressure. This can be as dangerous as under inflated tyres and may lead to a scary blowout if you hit debris unexpectedly.
- Top Up Screen Wash
Running out of screen wash is a safety problem if you cannot see clearly any longer. Remember to top up so that you don’t block your vision dangerously when you might need it most!
- Be Mindful of Cruise Control
Cruise control may be of benefit when you are on the motorway, but try not to use it late at night or when your kids might be distracting you. There are no shortcuts to being alert behind the wheel and resting is better than relying on this technology.
- Spare Child Seats
If you have an unoccupied booster seat in the back of your car that is not fixed down, then it could cause damage if you brake suddenly. Put ones that are not in use in the boot of your car to avoid injuries.
So there you go, take 10 minutes to undertake these checks, you never know what Big Massive Wallies are out, driving like they’re the only ones with somewhere to go and someone to see.
And I’d much prefer you all arrived at your destination safely.
This is a collaboration. A full disclaimer can be found here.