Essential Car Safety Checks To Make Before Travelling

I know that many of you will be travelling over the festive period – travelling to and from Christmas parties and travelling to see family and friends. It’s really important when you have your loved ones in the car that you make sure that it is safe before you set off. Here are a few things that you should check…

Tyres

Bald tyres can land you in big trouble. If the tread depth on your wheels isn’t above the legal minimum of 1.6mm (which applies across the central three-quarters of the tyre around the entire circumference), you risk fines of £2,500 and three penalty points per tyre. You can see if your tyres meet this standard using the ‘20p test’. Simply stand one of these coins in the tread groove. If you can see its outer edge, it’s time to get new tyres.

While you are looking at your tyres don’t forget to check their general condition too. Check for any foreign objects embedded in the tyres which could cause a puncture.

Check the tyre pressure – you can find information in your vehicle handbook or take your car to a local garage.

Don’t forget to also check your spare tyre is in good condition and if necessary you have a tyre repair kit.

Fluids

Make sure that your car fluids are topped up – check your coolant, oil and screenwash levels. In the winter you’ll need to ensure that the antifreeze levels are topped up too.

If you’re ever unsure about any of these things it’s worth popping your car into a reputable garage regularly and especially before a long journey. Check out Kwikfit.com who offer servicing and can help to make sure that your car is safe before you travel.

Essentials to take with you

It’s also worth making sure that you have some essentials in the car too…

Mobile phone

While many of us don’t go anywhere without our mobiles these days, it’s especially important to make sure you have a charged phone with you if you set out on a long journey. It’s also useful to take an in-car phone charger to top up your battery if it gets low. If you have breakdown cover, store the number in your mobile in case you need roadside assistance.

Water and snacks

If you’re unlucky enough to be stranded in your vehicle for a long period of time, you’ll need access to water – so remember to take a bottle or two with you. Some snacks could come in handy too.

Extra clothes

Especially if you’re travelling in winter, it’s useful to pack some extra clothes, including a hat and gloves, in case you get stranded.

First aid kit

In case of minor injuries, pack a first aid kit (and make sure it’s properly stocked before you set off).

Warning triangle and high-vis vest

A high-vis vest can save your life if you break down on a dark road. In addition, a warning triangle is an important piece of kit. If you find yourself stuck on a highway, this should be placed a minimum distance of 45 metres behind your car – making sure it is on the same side of the road. Bear in mind you shouldn’t use these triangles on motorways though.

Ice scraper and spade

If you’re travelling in winter, it’s wise to take an icescraper to clear your windscreen and, if you have space, pack a shovel. This could help you dig yourself out of snow if you get stuck.

Other useful items include car jump leads, a torch, a travel-size fire extinguisher and some spare cash.

I hope that this helps you before you set off for a journey this Christmas.

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19 Comments

  1. December 14, 2017 / 1:17 pm

    great tips, really important this time of year, the roads are so icy here!

  2. December 14, 2017 / 2:52 pm

    These are some fab tips. My flatmate is always taking about how many people in the UK leave their summer tires on and are not quite ready for the possible ice and snow that can appear this time of year!

  3. December 14, 2017 / 5:26 pm

    I have NEVER seen a blog post on this but it is so important! I always worry when i don’t have someone to check my car over. Now i know exactly what to check for. Thank you x

  4. December 14, 2017 / 7:01 pm

    Having been in a car which broke down in heavy snow (while 38 weeks pregnant) I always make the essential checks before heading out now.

  5. bavariansojourn
    December 14, 2017 / 8:15 pm

    Lots of really good tips there. I have spent the past few days dreading driving in this weather. I am so used to driving with winter tyres now, that the idea of driving on icy roads without them is really scary…

  6. December 14, 2017 / 9:21 pm

    I’m going to be driving 3 1/2 hours this year on Christmas so I really should check my car! Usually I think about fuel but never other fluids until there is a warning light on!

  7. December 14, 2017 / 10:50 pm

    I don’t drive however my family and friends all do so I will be sharing this with them to remind them to keep safe! Thank you for sharing these tips, a great time of year for it too as roads are slippery with ice etc.

  8. December 15, 2017 / 1:08 am

    These are really great tips, especially for the in-climate weather, never want to get stuck. I’ll be sharing this with friends/family who are traveling.

  9. December 15, 2017 / 9:52 am

    Great tips, these! As I was navigating icy roads I realised it’s been awhile since I check the tyre tread… must remember to do that today!

  10. December 15, 2017 / 10:00 am

    Fab tips, tyres are such an important thing but having warm clothes and essentials on you are so important too x

  11. December 15, 2017 / 10:54 am

    Such a great blog post especially at this time of the year. Road safety is key especially in this weather x

  12. December 15, 2017 / 11:10 am

    These are some really helpful tips, it’s so tempting to forget about all this in the excitement of Christmas, but we really shouldn’t.

  13. December 15, 2017 / 1:07 pm

    These are all very important to do and we always do it before making long journeys! Very helpful post on the run up to Christmas

  14. December 15, 2017 / 1:23 pm

    It is so important to check these! I always check and then get my Dad to double check before I travel anywhere

  15. December 16, 2017 / 11:43 am

    My husband does all these checks as to be honest I really have no clue as I’m not a driver. I do ensure we have a blanket in the car and food in case of emergencies though x

  16. December 16, 2017 / 4:06 pm

    Those are some very important things to do before travelling especially if it’s a long trip. Better safe than sorry.

  17. December 17, 2017 / 9:46 pm

    Great tips and we often over look tyres but they are especially important at this time of year!

  18. Jan 1, 2018 / 9:47 am

    Before making a plan going to outside by a car check all parts of it clearly. Make sure it’s tire pressure must be in right amount to have a good shape. Also check for any foreign objects embedded in the tires which could cause a puncture. Coolant level must be in specific amount to reduce chance of overheat. Anti freeze levels are topped up in winter season to keep your vehicle in running condition. Before long journey you must take it to a reputed car service shop where you can get all required services for your car.

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