Breaking down on a busy road or motorway is every driver’s worst nightmare, and as we get into winter with darker nights, cold weather and rain to look forward to it becomes even scarier. If you regularly travel with your family in the car as well you’re probably very conscious of the dangers that can occur if you get a puncture or other fault on the road.
We’ve teamed up with former England rugby star Matt Dawson to help you avoid a nightmare situation while driving. Matt was voted the celeb most people would like to rescue them in our poll, so we asked him for his top tips for keeping your family safe on the road:
Matt agrees with us that prevention is better than a cure, and that means being prepared and making sure your car’s in good working order.
There are some checks that you should do regularly, and also if you’re going on a long journey or it’s bad weather you should be extra careful.
- Check your tyre pressure and the condition of your tyres (including the spare) once a month, making sure the tread is within its legal limits. To be extra safe, carry a can of Tyreweld in your boot for those flat tyre emergencies. You can read more about tyre care here.
- Use the dipstick to check the oil level every couple of weeks and before every long journey.
- Checking your engine coolant will help you spot any leaks (and avoid the nightmare of overheating) and will ensure you’re protected particularly through winter. Every week, while your engine is cold, check the coolant/antifreeze level is between the MIN and MAX marks. Particularly in the colder months, check it with a special tester. It is important to maintain your antifreeze/coolant at the proper concentration, to provide good corrosion protection as well as prevent freeze-ups and boil overs. A tester provides a quick and easy method to safely collect a sample and measure concentration, so you know when you need a top up.
- On dark nights, with bad weather, you need to be able to see as much of the road as possible. It’s also actually a legal requirement to have a working screen wash system, so make sure that you have a decent screen wash. Over winter, use one that also melts ice to keep your windscreen clear when it’s snowy or freezing.
Before the cold weather really sets in, put a few essentials in your car just in case you get stuck in bad weather, or break down.
Your emergency kit could include:
- A can of Tyreweld
- Ice scraper and de-icer
- A blanket to keep you warm, or foil blanket if you want to save space. Make sure there is one for each passenger
- A first aid kit
- A snack, such as a protein or chocolate bar, to keep you going if you’re stranded for a while
- Entertainment to keep youngsters occupied on the journey or if you all get stranded
- Spare clothes and snacks for young passengers; they might not appreciate the same snacks as you and there’s always the possibility of little accidents.
At Holts we solve your driver problems to make it easier for you and your family to stay safe on the road. For more information on our DIY repair products visit our homepage.