Since having a child we’ve made a conscious effort to make sure every car journey is as safe as possible. A few years ago I was involved in an accident where our car skidded off the road into the trees and turned on its side, so whenever I’m driving with Oliver in the car I’m very wary. Because of this accident I want to raise awareness of how important road safety is, so this post is going to be a serious one!
One of the best ways you can make sure you have a safe journey is by doing important checks on your car, which includes your tyres. Remember those ‘show me, tell me’ questions on your driving test? They’re actually very important!
What should you check?
There are so many aspects of a car that you need to check before driving. Things can fail on a car at any point, so something that worked a few days ago may not be working anymore. A little time put into doing these checks can help minimise risks on the road.
The amount of times I’ve gone to get into my car and I’ve noticed a bulb has gone, it’s crazy! Light bulbs can blow at any time and they’re extremely important, not only for your sight but also so others can see you. These checks only take a minute or so, so they’re worth doing. A tip for if you’re alone and need to check your brake lights; reverse up to a wall/garage and put your foot down on your brakes, you should be able to see the red lights reflecting on the wall. It’s also important to make sure your lights are clean and clear from ice.
Your wing mirrors can be moved by anyone who walks past your car, so it’s important to check they’re in the correct position when you’re sitting in the drivers seat. They can get pretty dirty too so always make sure they’re clean.
This one gets me all the time! I always run out of liquid in my washer bottle. It’s super handy to keep a bottle of washer liquid in your car at all times. You can pick up a bottle from most petrol stations or super markets.
There are new laws regarding children seats and when they should be used till – these can be found on the Gov.uk website. It’s very important to check your children’s seat/s are strapped in properly. I was once moving a few things around in our back seats and I accidentally unbuckled the seat belt that holds Olivers car seat in. Luckily I noticed but this could have happened at any time. I always make sure the seat belt holding Olivers car seat is always plugged in, and I give it a little bit of a tug to make sure the tension is still there.
There are a lot more things you should check on your car over time. A lot of these are done through MOT’s and Services. It’s always good to know most of the in’s and out’s of your car so you can easily tell if something may be wrong.
One of the most important things you need to check with your car is the tyres – not only for your safety but also for legal reasons. You should check the pressure, for any damage and the tread depth of the tyre. If your tyres are too warn it can cause a number of things.
If you live in the UK you’ve probably noticed there has been a lot of rain recently! According to the MET Office we have an average of 156 days of rainfall a year – although it seems like we’ve had all of that in the space of a month! Warn tyres and heavy rainfall do not mix well. Have you ever been driving on a road in heavy rainfall and your steering wheel has felt a little loose and out of control? When water gets in between the road and your tyres it causes something called aquaplaning. This is a very scary experience as you literally have no control of the steering wheel what so ever. Having good tyres can help towards preventing this happening. If you’ve got bad grip or tread depth on your tyres it can make it easier for aquaplaning or skidding to happen.
Tyres can wear rather quickly so it’s important to check and replace them when necessary. It’s good to replace them with decent tyres from reputable brands. Cheap tyres from good brands can be found at Point S. They make it really easy for you to decide which tyres you need by breaking down the different options available to you, whether they’re summer, winter, premium or budget tyres. If you’re unsure whether you need new tyres you can always use their branch locator to find a local branch to you and take a visit.
After doing all of these checks I’m comfortable in the knowledge that my family will be safer when we’re on the road in our car. It doesn’t take too long to do these checks and they’ll make a huge impact on the safety of you and your family whilst driving. Are there any other checks that you do before you drive? I’d love to hear your recommendations!
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