Having your own vehicle gives you so much independence and freedom; however, owning a car isn’t all plain sailing. They’re expensive, and when things go wrong, it can be worrying and stressful. However the positives outweigh the negatives by far, so if you’re able to get out on the roads, it’s always worth doing so. Here are some tips to bear in mind to stay safe while you’re out and about.
Get Your Car Serviced Regularly
On top of all of the other costs, drivers have to foot such as tax, MOT, insurance and fuel, it can be tempting to skip getting your car serviced. However, it’s essential to do so, as it allows any potential problems to be picked up early, in many cases, this can mean that repair costs are far lower. Don’t wait until your annual MOT, or for things to go wrong. A service helps to ensure your car is roadworthy and running well. When cars break down, or faults are discovered, unfortunately, the bill can run into many hundreds of pounds, so it is also worth having a bit of a safety net of money if possible to cover these costs.
Keep an Eye on Your Tyres
Your tyres could literally save your life, so don’t let them be an afterthought. The minimum tread depth you need to have legally is 1.6mm on the central three-quarters of the tyre. Get yourself a tread depth gauge, they’re only cheap and allow you to check at home whether your tyres need replacing. Any punctures, cuts or bulges will, of course, have to be looked at right away. If you do need some, you can easily buy tyres online. Another thing to bear in mind is the tyre pressure. Check in your car’s manual to see the correct pressure, and fill them up either at a petrol station or with a car pump/ gauge at home.
Do a Safety Check Before Long Journeys
Before setting off on a long trip, it’s worth doing a few simple safety checks of your car. Are all of the lights working? Do you have enough oil, water and wiper fluid? Do you have a warning triangle and some basic equipment in the boot- a high vis jacket, a torch, and a blanket can be handy if you do break down. Hopefully, nothing will go wrong, but it’s worth taking a little time out to put yourself in the best position possible just in case.
New traffic laws state that anyone caught using a mobile phone at the wheel, including while stationary at traffic lights or queuing in traffic can now be fined £200 and given six penalty points. If you get caught in the first two years, you will lose your license altogether since new drivers can only accrue six points. Fiddling with the radio, satnav, smoking or eating at the wheel can also be a distraction, just don’t risk it. Your life and the lives of those around you are worth more than that, pull up in a safe place and turn off the engine.