Your upcoming driving holiday is planned to almost perfection, from accommodation, attractions, leisure activities and more. Do not overlook the condition of your vehicle and let a breakdown disrupt your vacation!

Send your car for Pre-trip Inspection and find out if there are areas which require rectification so as to reduce your chances of a breakdown en-route.

Here is what you should be testing for in your pre-trip car inspection service:

 

  • Battery test
  • Belting
  • Brake Efficiency test
  • Bushings
  • Charging test
  • Cooling System
  • Engine
  • Hoses
  • Lightings
  • Oil Leaks
  • Road Adherence / Suspension test
  • Starter Load test
  • Steering
  • Transmission
  • Tyres Check
  • Undercarriage

As part of the inspection,  your car mechanic will carry out checks and fix faults and do a road test. Go with your mechanic for this road test so that you can also understand some of the nuances and ask questions from your mechanic.

Planning for a Peaceful Trip

The best running hardware is not enough, look at these additional areas too!

  • Rest well prior to starting your journey
  • Take breaks in between –  usually a good idea to start early and end your day early
  • Switch drivers if possible
  • Don’t forget to pack personal medication, first aid kit and prescriptions
  • Make and follow a packing checklist – do a mock run of the baggage being out in the car to ensure that it will actually fit in on the day you start your trip!
  • Shut down or hibernate home systems (electricity, water, activate alarm if any, stop deliveries like newspaper, milk etc.)
  • Arrange for Pets to be taken care of
  • Carry documents with you (car insurance, registration, drivers license, hotel booking, other pre-booked services)
  • Emergency phone numbers in a print out (2 copies stored separately)
  • Get yourself a membership to the Automobile Association

Summary

An out or town road trip can be fun and with the right planning and precautions, it can be peaceful and safe too

  1. Get your vehicle checked as per the checklist above
  2. Plan your trip to ensure you have adequate time for breaks and sightseeing without being rushed while driving
  3. Drive within and below safety limits – they have been put there as there is a science to the speed on which you can drive on the roads with such signs
  4. Belt up everyone. Do not let the back seat passengers say ‘ It’s OK we do not need to put our seat belts because we are in the back ‘ . This is a major error of judgement and all passengers should wear their seat belts at all times, not just on highways
  5. Get your tyre pressure checked one more time before you leave, preferably in the morning when they are cold
  6. Leave your work behind – do not speak on your mobile phone
  7. If using a GPS, do not do the settings while driving as this will distract you, it should be done before you start the car
  8. Do not eat, smoke or drink while driving . This can be distracting and dangerous
  9. Request the co-passenger in the front seat to not sleep  as this can cause the driver to also feel sleepy. Keep an occasional conversation going with the driver to ensure that the driver is not dozing off, specially towards the end of the journey
  10. Be Alert at all times specially towards the end of the journey. Lots of us start getting relaxed and this can cause lack of attention
  11. Get yourself a membership to the Automobile Association as this will help in times of emergency need, such as on road assistance in case of break down.

We would like to hear from you if found this article useful. Please share your comments and experiences for the benefit of all members of Safety First Club.

Safety First Club would like to thank the author Chandra Agnihotri, a wellwisher and  advisor to Safety First Club based in Singapore for this article.