Mama Life//Collaborative Post
I'm so thankful to be able to drive and our little car has taken us all over the country, for some of the most amazing holidays and days out which have given me memories to last a life time. I'm a stickler for road safety though and before any big journey I always try to make sure our trusty Vauxhall Vectra is as safe as possible, with car seats installed properly, seat belts checked and breakdown cover details to hand just in case.
People consider road safety a lot more in winter time, but even though the sun is shining, the roads can be just as dangerous in summer. With busy farmers leaving more mud on the roads, glare from the sun and more of us venturing away on holiday in the UK, it's important to make sure you've prepared for any size journey in a car that's as safe as it can be. I thought I'd share some simple tips to help keep our families safe while we travel this summer.
Check the essentials
Check that your car is topped up with the relevant oil, coolant, water and air. Check that tyres aren't dangerously worn, lights and plates are free of dirt and you have ample fuel for where you need to go, or at least safely to the next filling station allowing for traffic jams. Make these checks well in advance of your journey, so that you have no last minute panics and have time to get in for new tyres or shop for top ups.
Keep the car cool
If possible, park your car in a shady spot before travelling to limit the heat held inside. Before getting the family in (including pets), open all the windows and doors to let out the warm air. Even though the car will get warmer, starting off as cool as possible makes it a lot more comfortable. If you have air con, make sure it's re-gassed for summer and use that to cool the temperature when needed.
Keep drinks and snacks close by
Like it or not our roads can get extremely busy and whenever you choose to travel, you could well be caught up in road works and traffic jams for miles. Keeping bottles of water close to hand and snacks to keep kids happy can take away a lot of stress on long journeys and it's important to keep hydrated on warmer days as temperatures can rocket inside a car. Just be sure to schedule in some extra toilet stops for everyone with all the extra water needed.
Reduce glare from the sun
Glare from the sun can be super dangerous on the roads and one thing to make sure of is that your windscreen is clean as well as chip and grease free before travelling. Make sure your wipers are functional and screen wash is topped up. Keep sunglasses to hand and make sure kids travelling are protected from harmful rays with window screens and sun hats where possible.
Be cautious of other road users
As well as cars, there is likely to be more farm traffic, caravans, road cyclists, motorcycles and even more animals around in summer. When approaching busy tourist areas and airports, traffic will increase especially in the school holidays. Take extra precautions, be extra vigilant and if you want to keep the kids busy, these extra road users can make for fun spotting sheets for the kids so they can check off what they can spot on route.
Keep the kids entertained
Keeping the kids busy and comfortable on route can save a lot of headache on long journeys. Pinterest is packed with ideas and free print offs to keep little ones occupied, and be sure to make sure any tablets and devices are charged fully and that they each have headphones to hand so that any noise from games etc won't distract you from driving.
Take regular breaks
On very hot days, make sure to stop regularly to let the car cool back down, take a break from driving to stretch your legs and make sure everyone is fed and hydrated for the next leg of the journey. Although it makes the journey longer, taking breaks can reduce the chance off getting over tired, over heated or having accidents. If your family dog is on your travels with you, be sure to take them for some walks on route, give them plenty of water and keep them in the shade as much as possible, you may even want to travel at night when the temperature is safer for them.
Stay safe this summer and if you have any doubts about the safety of your car, please do delay your journey. Be prepared, get plenty of rest and of course - have a great time!