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Safety Tips

Many of the breakdowns on our roads could be eliminated if drivers would make a simple five minute check, before starting any journey.

All tyres, including the spare wheel, should be inspected for wear or damage and should be inflated to the correct pressure whilst they are cold.  The radiator should be topped up and the water hoses checked for leaks.  Evidence of deterioration in electrical leads to the engine or of dirt on connections, should be corrected.  The engine oil level should be inspected and the fuel tank topped up.

The few minutes spent making these checks would seem a small price to pay as an alternative to the frustration, expense and lost time resulting from a vehicle breakdown.

Other than that, you still have to be prepared for emergency breakdowns. Pack an extra set of clothing, boots, and work gloves for emergencies. Hopefully, you'll never need them, but in case of trouble, you'll be glad you have them.

An emergency kit should include battery jumper cables, a flashlight and a "Help" sign or flares.

In colder climates, include a winter blanket, energy bar, a shovel, and kitty litter or sand for traction.

Familiarize yourself with the operation of your car's jack so you'll know how to use it in case of a flat. Make sure you have a spare wheel and a full spare wheel replacement kit in good condition.

Never leave children or pets in an unattended vehicle, even for a minute. A locked car sitting in the sun quickly turns into an oven. Temperatures can climb from 78 to 100 degrees in just 3 minutes. Always make sure you have water for you and your passengers to drink so as to avoid dehydration.

Lights, including high beams, turn signals and brake lights must be in working condition, and headlights, must be aimed correctly. Keep the lights clean for maximum visibility as the days get shorter.

Be sure to turn on your headlights at lighting-up times. You know when this is because the street lights will also be switched on at that time. For exact times, check the daily newspapers for details.

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