How to stay safe in your car these holidays

As we move through the holiday period, many people are going to be hitting the road. It could be to visit family, get away from it all with a Noosa retreat or simply just a road trip for the fun of it. But whatever the reason for you getting in the car these holidays, it’s important to make sure your vehicle is in shape for longer journeys.

Is the car safe and sound for your upcoming road trip?Is the car safe and sound for your upcoming road trip?

Recent research from McCrindle indicates that 46 per cent of Australians won’t be staying at home this Christmas, which includes 23 per cent of respondents that are holidaying within their state or territory, and 16 per cent travelling interstate. So for those hitting the road (which you’re well within your rights to do with a novated lease for a work vehicle), here are some things to remember before heading off into the sunset.

Make sure everything is genuine

In a December 11 media release, the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) reminded people to ensure that their car parts are the genuine article, for best practice in safety.

“If you’re planning for a safe and stress-free holiday road trip, make sure your car is serviced or repaired with genuine parts, supplied by the vehicle’s maker, so that it drives, functions and protects in the way it’s designed to,” FCAI Chief Executive Tony Weber said.

“Make sure your car is serviced or repaired with genuine parts.”

The organisation released the results of pothole tests back in October which showed that fake wheels components fell apart at just 50 km/h. There are many counterfeit car parts manufactured in Australia that can be dangerous, and they’re often packaged to look just like the real thing. Keep an eye out, use authorised manufacturers, car repairers and salespeople, and driving should be all that much safer these holidays.

Get your rest

This is fairly common sense, but it bears repeating. As the New South Wales Centre for Road Safety points out, in 2012 fatigue was actually a bigger cause of fatalities than drink driving. Plan out your trip so you’re not leaving at a time when you’re already tired, and make sure you get enough sleep ahead of the drive.

In 2012, fatigue was actually a bigger cause of fatalities than drink driving.

Take a rest every two hours, and make excellent use of driver reviver stops – they’re there for a very good reason. You can’t break those circadian rhythms of your body wanting to sleep at night no matter how programmed you are as a night owl, so be careful and be refreshed.

Have a contingency plan

Even if you packaged an excellent insurance policy for your vehicle into a novated lease arrangement, it’s still important to plan for any breakdowns. For example, at the moment the Royal Automobile Club of Queensland (RACQ) has listed a number of hazards on roads around the Sunshine State. These range from regular congestion to water damage and severe potholes, all of which can result in damage to your vehicle.

In the event that anything does happen and you have a flat tyre or other vehicular breakdown, it’s a good idea to have all the information and contacts noted before you leave to get you back on the road as quickly as possible.

Stay safe these holidays

No matter where you’re heading, all the safety checks and balances should be looked at when you head out on the road these holidays. Unexpected hiccups and costs are the last thing you want at what’s supposed to be a celebratory time of year.

When you want to look at a new vehicle that handles these kinds of trips with aplomb, you might want to have a look at securing a novated lease. It gives you a 10 per cent discount on costs like fuel, tyres and servicing. All vehicle costs including finance are bundled into one simple payment. Have a happy holiday!