As the trip season begins, it’s exciting to see families hitting the road to various destinations. However, anticipating a journey, we often forget about basic safety precautions and set off without getting our vehicles prepared. Lots of people get into accidents every year just because they ignore such safety basics as properly inflated summer tyres and fresh engine oil. We’ll tell you about safety essentials you must have in your car to avoid dangerous situations on the road.
Check brakes, wheels, and tyres
Emergencies happen even with well-maintained cars; however, you can considerably decrease your chances of getting in trouble if you get your car checked by the professional mechanic before you hit the road. What to pay attention at? First of all, inspect the braking system. Replace brake pads if you notice signs of wear and ensure brake fluid is fresh and in place. Check if the wheels are properly aligned (you should better have a mechanic do it) and if your summer tyres have acceptable tread depth (1.6mm for the UK and Europe). Get your tyres inflated correctly to the psi recommended by the car manufacturer and maintain the right pressure during the trip checking it with your tyre pressure gauge.
Prepare the emergency kit
Except for a standard first-aid kit (make sure it is a ‘personalised’ kit that contains medicines based on your family’s specific needs), you should prepare a small bag of emergency items such as a flashlight, jumper cables, flashers, an old towel or a rag (in case you’ll need to get underneath your vehicle), a phone charger, a multi-purpose tool (a set of full-size tools is always better), a warm blanket, and water for you and your passengers (3-4 pints per passenger per day of drive).
Always use safety belts
It may sound boring, but they really save thousands of lives annually. Before setting off, check if your front and rear seat belts are in proper working condition. Kids heavier than 20lb must travel only in car seats suitable for their age. If you have never used a car seat before, you should learn how to fasten it with seat belts or lower anchors beforehand (watch some ‘how-to’ videos on the Internet or read the guidelines) because tackling the installation in the last minute can be challenging. Older children and other adult passengers must be fastened with individual seat belts.
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