JOHANNESBURG - If you are planning a trip during the school holidays or over Easter, planning for emergencies on the road should form part of this preparation.
While no one wants their holidays to be marred by an unexpected challenge, if you are prepared for any eventuality, it can make this slightly easier.
The managing director of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert, says planning makes every trip easier. “Whether you plan your route or plan what to do should you find yourself stranded on the side of the road, it makes any challenges you do encounter that much easier to solve. No one wants to be stranded alongside the road and consequently more vulnerable to crime and crashes, but it is a reality that every driver needs to accept. This is how to better prepare yourself.”
1. Tyre problems
The most important way to avoid this is to check the condition and inflation of your tyres before leaving. “If both the tread and inflation is correct, this protects you against avoidable problems. This applies to your spare tyre as well. The one thing worse than experiencing a blowout is pulling out your spare only to find that it is flat. Those towing caravans and trailers
“Those towing caravans and trailers should pay particular attention to the condition of their tyres and get them checked out by an expert. Additionally, save the number of your insurer on your phone so that if you cannot solve the challenge yourself you can quickly call for assistance. With the number of potholes on the road, it is possible to have more than one tyre burst at once.”
2. Getting lost
In the age of GPS on your phone and otherwise, many people may neglect to plan their routes and rather rely on their devices. “While we recommend using this technology to avoid traffic, it can be risky to rely on this alone. You risk placing yourself in a vulnerable situation should your phone battery die or when passing through areas with low signal.
“Safeguard yourself by looking at the route beforehand so that you have a mental outline of it. This includes deciding where you will need to stop so that you do not need to leave the main route to look for petrol stations or worse, run out of petrol. Also let a family member know where you are headed and the route you intend to take so that if you don’t arrive on time, they can take action.”
Whether it is a small bumper bashing or a serious crash, this not something drivers ever want to think about let a lone plan for. “As you may not be conscious to handle this challenge, you need to ensure that whoever comes to your aid has everything they need. Keep your essential identification and medical aid details on a card on your visor or stuck on your windscreen in case your valuables go missing. Keep a small first aid kit in the cubby hole as well.
“While we never want to consider these possibilities, being prepared for any one of these scenarios can make a huge difference to your safety,” concludes Herbert.