What to do when you get a flat tyre
When travelling long distances, getting a flat tyre could be a dangerous nuisance. Feeling as deflated as the tyre is one thing, but being alone with a flat tyre can be even scarier. Aside from delaying your journey, it can cost you a lot and even place you in danger.
Punctures are just bad luck and you can’t stop them happening, so the next best thing is knowing exactly what to do when you get one and you are alone.
How to change a flat tyre:
The responsible thing to do before travelling anywhere is to check your spare wheel has enough pressure. Your car is equipped with a wheel spanner and a car jack.
Step one: Remain calm. Take a few deep breaths and ensure where you have pulled your car over is not a busy freeway, on a bend or on an incline. It’s quite dangerous to try to change a wheel in these areas. Safety is paramount!
Step two: Loosen the wheel nuts with the wheel spanner before jacking up the car.
This is to ensure the wheel does not spin around while you are trying to remove the wheel nuts.
Step three: Use the car jack to hoist the side of the car, which has the flat tyre, and remove the loosened wheel nuts.
Step four: Once the wheels nuts are removed, replace the flat tyre with the spare wheel. Tighten the wheel nuts by hand first to ensure the alignment is correct.
Step five: Slowly release the car jack until the spare wheel is on the ground. Use the wheel spanner to tighten the wheel nuts.
And voila! Simple enough, you can be on your way again to a safe journey ahead.
When to service your car
Newer model cars often spoil motorists by displaying when it needs a service on the dashboard through a variety of lights.
However, for those with older model vehicles, this is not available. So, how do you know when your car needs a service?
The easiest way is to check the owner’s manual. In the manual, there will be a section in the rear of the book, or in a separate book, which lists all the service intervals and which service operations are required to be carried out.
However, if you do not have access to your vehicle’s logbook, the basic rule is to service your car every 10 000km or six months, whichever occurs first.
Even if you are not doing the kilometres, it’s still important to service your car on a regular basis, as most of the fluids in your car are susceptible to moisture and need to be inspected and replaced at specified intervals.
If you don’t service your car on time, you could face several issues pertaining to your vehicle’s longevity.
These issues include reduced fuel economy, poor driving feel and even major mechanical failure are all possible if regular maintenance is not carried out.
Modern engine oils contain cleaning agents which help keep the inside of the engine in good condition. But if the oil isn’t changed, it slowly deteriorates the longer it is used.
Failing to change this oil causes the passageways inside the engine to block up with carbon deposits and increases
Have your eyes checked
Who should get their eyes examined?
Eye health is an important aspect for everyone to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Adults should have their eyes tested to keep their prescriptions current and to check for early signs of eye disease.
Children should have eye exams regularly as it can play an important role in normal development and learning. In most cases, children will not complain of vision problems simply because they do not know what “normal” vision looks like.
What is the eye doctor checking for?
In addition to evaluating whether you have near-sightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism, your eye doctor will check for eye diseases and other problems that could lead to vision loss. Your eye doctor can detect early signs of some conditions and diseases by looking at your eye’s blood vessels, retina and other areas of your eye.
Treatment plans can include prescription lens or contact lenses, eye exercises or surgery for muscle problems. It can also include medical treatment for eye disease.
No matter who you are, annual eye exams are essential optimum sight, learning more easily and taking care of your vision for life.
Stay safe and avoid becoming a victim of hijacking
The holiday season is around the corner, and we can’t stress enough the importance of staying safe while travelling long distances. There are all sorts of problems which may occur while on the road, but one of the most common issues is hijacking. Read the following tips on how to avoid becoming a victim of hijacking.
Safety precautions when leaving your house:
– Ensure your vehicle is in a good working condition before going on your journey. – Ensure your vehicle always has sufficient fuel. – Always lock your vehicles doors and keep the windows closed. – Do not leave your vehicle unlocked, even if you think you will be away for only a minute. – Avoid stopping at remote places. – Park your vehicle in well-lit areas. – If a stranger approaches you while in your vehicle, do not open the window too much; five centimetres is enough to have a discussion. – Do not talk to strangers; rather be rude and drive away. – Limit your trips at night. – Regularly change the route you travel to work and back, if this is possible. – If strangers loiter near your driveway, rather drive past. If they loiter for a long time, report it to your nearest police station. – Hijackers may stage a minor accident so they can approach your car. – If your car is bumped from behind and you do not feel comfortable with the individual(s) involved in the situation, drive to the nearest police station for help. – A lift club limits the risk of becoming a victim of hijacking. – Do not give strangers a lift.
What to do if confronted by a hijacker:
-Do not reach for your purse or valuables. Leave everything behind if forced from the car. – Remain calm. – Do not argue, especially if the hijacker has a weapon. – Give up your vehicle with no questions asked and move away. – Do not make sudden gestures. – Avoid eye contact but try to remember what the carjacker looked like by identifying and remembering special features. – Comply with the hijacker’s directions within reason. – Try and get away from the area as quickly as possible. – Don’t be a hero; your life is worth more than your car.
Hijacking can occur in your own driveway:
Your safety is not guaranteed just because you’re in your driveway; many hijackings also take place while residents are entering their homes. – Check your driveway or street before entering or leaving your home/ premises. – Make sure your driveway is well lit and clear of shrubbery where perpetrators can hide. – Beware of unknown pedestrians close to your house. Do not turn into your driveway immediately; pass and go back after a little while. – When returning home after dark, make sure you have someone to meet you outside, – If you can, have the outside light on. – Switch off the vehicle if you have to open the gate yourself. If you have small children in the car, take the car keys with you and close the door before opening the gate. This will help you use the key as a negotiating tool, should hijackers approach you. – It is dangerous to sleep in a stationary vehicle; be careful. – Drive with all doors locked and no visible valuables on the seats of your car. – Always make a mental note of all police stations in the vicinity.
What mothers should know when travelling long distance with children
School holidays are slowly creeping up, and parents want to find ways to keep the children entertained.
So a road trip to the beach sounds perfect right?
But let’s face it; a toddler in a moving vehicle for three hours can get a bit much after a while.
Here are five things mothers should know when travelling long distances with their children.
1. Always pack a spare backpack:
Always keep a spare backpack in the car with spare clothes, toothbrushes, clean underwear and a toy or two. You never know when you might need it.
2. Wet wipes are a must:
Any parent knows a child can make a mess faster than 1, 2, and 3.
Sticky fingers and spilled juice can be minimised by keeping a pack of wet wipes on hand.
3. Make sure they are comfortable:
Even if the trip you’re taking is a stay over the weekend at grannies house, make sure you pack their favourite blankets, pillows and night-time teddies. Children tend to be more relaxed when they feel comfortable. By packing these items, the children will feel more at home and therefore you will have some peace and quiet.
4. Bring along the sing-a-long:
Okay, let’s be honest; no sane mother wants to listen to the wheels on the bus for three hours, now do we?
However, by singing along to all these classic baby tunes, it will make the trip seem shorter for the children, In turn, you won’t have to deal with backseat bickering.
5. Snacks are the best part of the trip:
Children, as well as adults tend to eat more when they’re bored.
So it is advisable to pack as many snacks and sandwiches as possible before leaving the house.
Keep in mind though; you will most probably be making an unusual amount of bathroom stops along the way.
Note to self: The most important thing to remember before leaving for your little summer vacation is to be prepared for anything, and to have fun.
Every road trip, no matter how far the destination is, is an opportunity to make new memories with your children.
Have fun and stay safe on the roads!
How to deal with a backseat driver
While their intentions may seem good, backseat drivers can be a stick in the wheel.
They just can’t keep their advice to themselves, which makes it difficult to concentrate on your driving.
The following tips should guide you when dealing with this type of passenger:
1. Plan your journey:
Backseat drivers are very nervous. A good way to calm them down and get some peace is to take various breaks along the way. Stop for lunch or to take in the view. This will steer conversation in a different direction and calm their nerves.
2. Give them something to do:
Many people engage in backseat driving because they’re bored. You can help to kill the boredom and distract your backseat driver by giving them something to do. Play a game or talk about your next vacation; anything to keep them distracted while you concentrate on the road.
3. The dreaded confrontation:
If this is someone you drive around with often, then you need to talk about the effect his or her behaviour has on you. Although their advice is appreciated, it can be distracting when offered while driving.
4. Turn on the radio:
Music is known to soothe nerves. This move can help ease tension in the vehicle and allow you to concentrate on the task of driving without having a backseat driver.
5. Evaluate your driving:
Take their advice into consideration; are the backseat drivers making a valid point? Ask yourself; do you drive too fast? Are you taking those bumps too hard? Your backseat driver may be pointing out issues that are real. Be calm and consider these issues. You may want to change how you drive to improve safety for all.
Distraction doesn’t only come in the form of mobile phones and other gadgets. It can come in the form of your passenger, who believes they are helping you. Deal with this distraction to ensure improved safety on your next trip.