Tips for safe summer driving

3 MIN READ December 12, 2018
Summer road trips are a favourite Kiwi pastime, whether we’re heading to visit loved ones or taking a day trip to the beach. Because everyone tends to have the same idea during the holiday period, it’s important to take extra precautions to keep you and…

Do a pre-travel vehicle check

This is especially important when you’ve got quite a long drive to reach your destination. Make sure that your vehicle is ready to go and will last you the distance without causing any problems down the track. Check your tyre pressure, oil levels and coolant/water levels before you head off. It pays to also ensure all of your documentation is up to date, including registration and WOF.

Pack it all up safely

When travelling in summer, we often have plenty of luggage to bring with us – we might have sporting equipment, chilly bins stocked to the brim with food, and sometimes our furry friends are along for the ride. Pack your heavy items on the bottom and make sure that everything you’re bringing is secured to avoid any mishaps should you have to stop suddenly. Remember to keep any essentials such as medication and water or snacks within easy reach.

Take plenty of breaks

As much as we’d all like to reach our holiday destination as soon as we can, it’s important to take regular breaks to ensure your safety and the safety of your passengers. In summer the temperature is usually much higher, meaning that fatigue can set in fairly quickly. Usually often-travelled roads have rest stops at regular intervals so be sure to stop frequently and stretch your legs or take a quick nap. Make sure you also get enough sleep the night before so you’re well-rested before you set off.

Drive to the conditions

Often the conditions on the roads you’re travelling will be quite different to the ones you’re used to everyday (except maybe the amount of traffic!). The roads may not always be completely sealed and there will be some stretches of road that have hidden bends and other features uncommon to metropolitan areas. Your fully loaded car will also affect the usual maneuverability of your vehicle so you’ll need to make adjustments to your speed, especially if the roads are wet.

Be patient

Prepare for your trip to take longer than usual to avoid any unnecessary rush or stress. There will be times on the road where your patience is tested, especially when you’re at a standstill in the heat of the day. Make sure you keep calm and relaxed and are in no rush to reach your destination. If you’ve got important plans to keep, it might pay to leave a day earlier. To beat the boredom, create a playlist of your favourite music and keep it on repeat as you go.

The bottom line here is be prepared, be rested and be patient and your journey will be much less stressful. Instead of viewing the drive as an arduous means to an end, see it as as a part of your trip and a journey in itself. Take the chance to check out some of New Zealand’s beautiful scenery or just practice your karaoke skills with your favourite tunes!


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