Thursday, 1 February 2018


So, following all the terrible weather we’ve been having, today’s post is going to be a little different! Today we’re going to be talking about car safety - not exactly a glamorous topic, but as you’ll know, I love to travel and sometimes, travel includes long car journeys! Just as pilots, train drivers and ship captains (is that what they’re called?!) check their plains, trains and boats are safe before they set off, it’s super important to keep on top of car safety too.

I’m certainly no mechanic, but being safe behind the wheel and as a passenger is something that’s very important to me and something that we should all keep on top of, so, I’m going to share a few simple tips on how to keep yourself and your passengers safe in your car.

1.    Checking for tyre tread
This was something I was told about when I bought my car, but it’s surprising how many people don’t do this, or even know they should check this! Tyres that are worn down are not only in dangerous (especially in wet and icy conditions!), but they are also illegal and can put you at risk of a fine up to £2500! This is something that’s really easy to check yourself though, the easiest way to check your tyre tread is with the ‘20p test’ simply place a 20p coin into the main tread grooves on your tyre, if the outer band of the 20p coin is obscured, you’re good to go! If you can see the outer band, your tyres may be below the legal limit and you’ll need to get them checked by a professional.

2.    Checking tyre pressure and condition
Similarly, regularly checking tyre pressure is important and will maintain the life of your tyres. You can find out your specific tyres correct pressure online or in your cars manual. You can check pressure and top up your tyres at most garages too, so this is also very quick and easy! It is also important, especially before a long journey to just check the condition of your tyres - I once drove (luckily only for about 2 miles!) on a tyre that was almost totally flat - I noticed that my car was pulling to one side and assumed it was the tracking, but I got home and realised my tyre was almost totally deflated! Following this incident, I’ve since been very careful about giving my tyres a quick once over before any journey. Should you need new tyres, but your car is unsafe to drive to a garage, you can actually order tyres online from Jet Wheel Tyre Website. Sites like this saved me a lot of time, hassle and money when I had my flat tyre!

3.    Correct Wheel Alignment
If your car pulls to one side at all while driving (and you’ve not got a flat tyre like I did!) - your wheel alignment or ‘tracking’ may be off. This is something that’s not only annoying while driving, but also means you have less control over your vehicle. The most obvious clue that your tracking is off, is if you’re driving down a straight road and when you loosen your grip on the wheel, your car pulls to the left or right. If you ever notice his happening, see a professional right away!

4.    Check your lights
Another seemingly obvious one, but also something that’s easily overlooked. Particularly in the winter, we drive in the dark a lot. Making sure all the lights on your car are working is very important as it’s not always immediately obvious when one goes. Again, it not only is dangerous to you and other drivers if your lights don’t work properly, but it is also illegal. Most of us remember to check that our side lights, dipped beam, full beam and rear lights are properly functioning, but you must also remember your indicators, break lights, reverse lights, side repeaters and number plate lights are working too. All this is much easier with someone to assist you!

5.    Windows, windscreen and mirrors
Another easily overlooked safety check is all mirrors and windows in your car. It is important to check for any cracks or chips in the glass, as uneven road surface can cause a tiny chip to turn into a big crack! It is also important that your mirrors are properly adjusted and that both the mirrors and windows are clean for full visibility. It is worth checking that your washer fluid is topped up too, as you don’t want to get caught out! Bonus tip, while you’re there, you might as well check your oil and coolant levels are adequate - these are both clearly marked on each individual car.

So that's it! Of course, like I said, I'm no expert, so please remember to use your own judgement and common sense when checking your car over and of course, regular servicing and MOTs are also essential to the safety and maintenace of your car.

Do you have any car maintenance tips? If so please share in the comments below!


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