Hassle Free Adventures
An Easter Bank Holiday road trip should be fun and hassle free if the motorist follows a few simple steps. These relate to preparing the vehicle, packing emergency equipment and managing the journey.
Vehicle Preparation: Tyres
Tyres influence handling and braking. Ensure each has the correct pressure, no significant damage and enough tread. The UK legal minimum is 1.6mm across the central 75% of its width, and around the circumference. Remember to check the spare – and ensure the tool kit is present - so that a puncture can be fixed roadside. If the car has locking wheel nuts remember to carry the locking key.
Vehicle Preparation: Wiper Blades
Wipers help the motorist see and worn blades can be far less efficient than their newer counterparts. Check for splits, excessive dryness/hardness and that they clear the glass properly.
Vehicle Preparation: Fluids
Check fluid levels such as engine oil, windscreen washer, brake, power steering and coolant. Each plays an important role. Some levels - such as engine oil – can be revealed via a dipstick whereas others have “high” and “low” marks on their receptacles.
Vehicle Preparation: Lights
A blown headlight bulb hinders visibility and a blown indicator confuses other road users. A blown brake bulb increases the risk of a rear collision – and all have a habit of attracting unwanted attention from the authorities. So, check everything is in order.
Vehicle Preparation: Glass
Cleaning the exterior/interior glass can significantly improve visibility. Good results come via a microfibre cloth and glass spray.
Emergency Equipment: Basic Pack
Emergency equipment can be invaluable and knowing it is there provides peace of mind. A basic pack might include a: warning triangle, high-visibility jacket, fire extinguisher, first aid kit, food and drink, spare bulbs, torch and tyre pump.
Emergency Equipment: Environmental Specifics
Consider the environment the vehicle has to face and its mechanical condition. If travelling to a snowy area, for example, pack a shovel and snow chains. If it is very hot – and the vehicle's cooling system has seen better days – pack water for the radiator.
Managing The Journey: Planning A Route
It is easier to plan a route in advance than on the road. RAC Route Planner is a helpful resource. Satellite navigation is handy too, but have a paper map as back-up. Avoid known trouble spots if possible.
Managing The Journey: Time Of Day
If practical, travel at a time of day when traffic is likely to be relatively light. Furthermore, keep an eye on the weather forecast and stay off the road if the conditions are likely to be hazardous.
Managing The Journey: Staying Fit
A motorist's concentration can be enhanced by taking regular breaks, eating properly and staying hydrated. Happy travels.