Whether you have driving experience of 10 years or 10 days – a long break from driving may affect your driving ability. To help you gear up for the road – we’ve got some practical safety tips for you to keep in mind when getting back on the road.
- Is your car still up and running?: Remember, you were not driving as often as you usually do. Car parts can be fragile, and you may only notice the damage later on. So, check if all of them are still in good shape – including all tyres and engine.If you’re still unsure, try the next tip.
- Take your ride for a spin: Test drive your car and all functionalities by taking a short drive. This may help you pick up unusual noises and other defects.
- Avoid distractions: Many drivers are back on the road and the rules of the road haven’t changed. Cell phones, eating, social media and attending to passengers are some of the distractions that put drivers at risk of losing control of their cars. Try as much as possible to reduce distractions and focus on the road.
- Check your blind spots: This is one of the most important rules of driving. Be observant at all times and remember to keep an eye on the road or just pretend you're taking a driving test. This will help you be more aware of reckless drivers or other possible risks like road construction.
- Get a grip of those controls: A break away from driving can make one forget even the smallest things. Make sure that you still know your controls and that they’re functional. Then physically check your windscreen wiper blades. Look for any cracks and check if they don’t make an awful noise when they drag across the screen.
- It’s not a sprint: Taking a break from driving may have given you some time off from the heavy traffic and road rage. Shoo, we all needed a break from that. But chances are it has also affected your speed perception or driving abilities in general. As you slowly get back into your normal driving routine, the best option would be to keep under the speed limit until you’re confident with your driving again.
- Show your car some TLC: Car maintenance is always important. You might have saved some few Rands from not taking your car for regular checks for quite some time. Well, it’s time to give it some well-deserved TLC. Take it in for a full maintenance check ‘cos there are lots of things your eyes and ears won’t pick up – an expert opinion is always best.
- Buckle up – always: Wearing a seat belt never goes out of fashion. It’s one of the most important safety features in your car. If you get involved in a car accident, it may help lessen the severity of injuries. It can also save you from getting a fine.
- Uninvited passengers: So, your car has been chilling in the garage or outside for quite some time. You might want to make sure there aren’t any small animals or nests hiding under your bonnet before hitting the road.
- Check the fluids: Fluids play an important role in any car. Keeping them at the right level may help your car drive better. To check your oil and water levels, use a dipstick and top up if needed.
If you’re still a bit unsure about your car’s condition, your best bet would be taking it to professionals to do proper checks for you. Speaking of professionals, we happen to be ones too when it comes to affordable car insurance. Learn more about our Accidental Damage policy and know what it covers here.