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Things to check on your car before you take to the road

1. Take your vehicle for a check-up
Top of the list is to make sure that your vehicle is in good working order for a fuss-free trip. Book your car in for a quick service or safety check so that tyres, battery, belts, fluid, aircon and especially oil in hot climates are checked by a qualified mechanic.

2. Get a good night’s sleep
Have a good night’s sleep before a big trip, as many road accidents are caused by drowsy drivers.

3. Gear up for safety
Check in your boot and make sure you have water, warm blankets, a torch, a spare tyre and tools, a first aid kit and remember to charge your cell phone prior to departure.

4. Check the back seats
If travelling with small children it’s imperative to check that child seats are secured and there’s shade protection from the hot sun. Check the back seats for small objects that could be choking hazards too.

5. Buckle up
All passengers – particularly children – must be wearing seat belts, and pets should also be secured safely.

6. Don’t drink and drive
Avoid the urge to have a lunch time beer and continue with your road trip. Alcohol is dangerous as it seriously affects your reaction time and driving ability.

7. Keep energy levels up
Avoid fatty foods and relying on caffeine, instead pack lots of juice, water, sandwiches and healthy snacks to keep you going.

8. Plan your route
Plan the best route the day before your trip and tune your radio into traffic alerts for congestion warnings and road closures.

9. Keep your lights on
Ask your mechanic to check your brake lights, headlights, and turning signals, and when you drive keep your headlights switched on so that other cars can see you.

10. Pump it up
Get into the habit of refilling your tank with petrol at the ¼ tank mark, just in case there are long gaps between service stations. Refuel before you risk running out of petrol.