Here I will list some important points which you should keep in mind while preparing for the trip and during your journeys to ensure safety and comfort for yourself & others on the road.
- Get your vehicle serviced regularly but don’t just embark on a long trip right after the service. Wait for couple of days and drive in your city for those days.
- Learn to change tyres (A lot of people don’t know) and headlight bulbs so that you may use the spare bulb provided with your car in case of an emergency.
- Check the levels of engine oil, gear oil, brake fluid, windshield water; condition of wiper blades, lights, horn, brakes, tyres & tyre pressure (don’t forget the stepney & toolkit).
- Properly clean your windshield and rear view mirrors before starting your journey & also in-between regularly.
- Carry a list of authorized service stations in areas where you will be going through. Also have your car & insurance helpline numbers at hand.
- Always have contact numbers of banks you use cards of to report any lost or stolen card immediately.
- Get some idea of contact numbers and locations of police stations and emergency services on your way.
- Take sufficient sleep before going for any road trip. Even the most experienced drivers need enough rest to drive safely.
- Spare key should always be carried along while going distances away from hometown. Don’t keep that in your car. Instead have it with a lanyard around your neck (can be easily kept under your shirt and you will never lose this key) or give it to your co-passenger.
- Keep yourself well hydrated and take regular breaks during the journey…..you are not going on a race. It would be good for you as well as your vehicle.
- Don’t over speed….be in your limits. While we all know the speed at which we are travelling, we generally do not realise how fast we are going. As a thumb rule, when you are doing 100 kmph you are travelling about 100 feet per second, at 120 kmph you are doing about 120 feet per second. When you keep this at the back of your mind it helps to put things in perspective.
- Try to avoid overtaking from the left side of another vehicle. If you still have to, give proper horn/signal.
- Rear Bed: By keeping your luggage between front & rear seats and covering with a bedsheet or thin mattress you can make a full flat bed out of the rear seat for those long journeys.
- If you drive on highways, retain the toll tickets till the end of journey. In addition to usual benefits like proof of travel it has the emergency helpline numbers usually printed on the back.
- The rear window of a car (or any other passenger vehicle) is the weakest link, during an emergency all you have to do is to lie down on the back seat and kick the rear window out, preferably with both legs. It is designed to be opened (or kicked out) during emergencies by an adult.
- Lastly maintain a good log of your trip. You might need it in future if you plan to visit the same place again or may be share with your friends for their trip.Here you can note down the distances and time intervals for police stations, hospitals, fuel pumps, eating joints, highway numbers, road conditions in different patches, etc.
That is all from my side. Your inputs based on personal experiences will be highly appreciated.
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Have a nice & safe journey…!!!!!