We will be doing a lot of driving this Summer and with that we’ll be clocking up a lot of miles. We’ll be travelling all over the country to Wales for a holiday, and also to see our family in Cambridge and Cheshire. With that and now having a little one onboard, it is far more than just packing the car and off you go. There are many safety checks that we as parents should do before leaving the driveway especially if you’re off on a long journey. With that in mind here are my practical car safety checks that we will be implementing before hitting the road in a couple of week’s time.
- Check the tyre pressure. This goes without saying as you don’t want a blow out on the motorway. With all the hot weather there has been recently, please check your tyres, as this can impact the pressure. We’re lucky that our car tells us if our tyres are too low, but all it takes is a quick trip to your local petrol station where it’s usually free to top your tyres up.
- Check your water levels. Have you got enough water to spray your front and back windscreen? I only know how annoying it when it runs our mid journey, and your windscreen wipers just shriek across your windscreen leaving dirty marks.
- Check that you have enough fuel. This is a really obvious point but have you got enough fuel to get you from A to B. As a parent there is nothing worse than having to stop at service station and pay through the roof for your fuel, and then having to wake up a sleeping child in the back of the car, so you can go to pay.
- Check oil levels. This is a really simple check and can be done by anybody, even you ladies. Just pop the hood and make sure that the oil level is between the two lines on the gauge. If not then it will need to be topped up before you leave, not doing this could have implications for your car that could be costly.
- Check your child’s car seat. It is really important to check that it is securely fixed on its isofix base or by the car seat belts. Check that it’s clean and the straps are correctly set-up. We don’t use our car everyday, and I always check that the straps are correctly set-up and the head rest is at the right height for our fast growing daughter.
- Tidy up and declutter your car. My husband is always doing this, removing half eaten biscuits and empty water bottles. Before heading off make sure that the car is clean and tidy, it makes for such a more pleasant journey and easier to find things quickly.
- Prepare and bring snacks for your child. This will obviously mess up your car, but it might mean that you haven’t got to stop as soon as you’ve set off when your child starts moaning that they are hungry. Some easy car snacks that you can just pass to your child include crackers, chopped up apple, and sticks of cheese, there are also some brilliant ideas here including cheese necklaces. Plus also make sure that they have enough water in a leak proof cup.
- Take toys, books and games to keep your child entertained. I always take with me on long car journey a tote bag full of small toys and books that I can easily pass to my child from the front seat. Make sure you take plenty as they always end up getting dropped into the footwell, and you can never reach it.
- Lastly make sure that there is enough space for your child. If you’re like us and your car is packed to the rafters I always worry that something we’ve piled into the seat next to our daughter might suddenly fall on her. Make sure that all luggage is secure, and won’t suddenly move if you come across a traffic jam.
If you’ve done all of the above you are nearly ready to go. As well as this it’s also really important to get your car serviced at least once year, or when it reaches a certain mileage, to ensure that everything hidden inside the car and underneath is working properly. There are so many places across the UK where you can get professional car servicing from – including DAT tyres in Hertfordshire, and nearly every independent garage or your car dealership in the UK. I cannot stress how important it is to have your car serviced if you are travelling with little people in the back.
Do you have any other practical car safety checks that you carry out before going on long car journeys? And, what else do you do to keep the children entertained?
It is perfectly possible to travel with children on a long car journey, here’s me still smiling after an 8 hour journey to Wales.
N.B This is a sponsored post.