The best car safety tips for your family

If you’re driving long distances with your kids this holiday season or beyond, here are some tips from our expert, RoadCover, to get you and your precious cargo to your destination safely.

Before you leave:

  • Ensure your car is running smoothly and that everything is in working order – from headlamps and windscreen wipers to brakes and seatbelts. If you’ve been hearing strange noises or feeling anything odd or different from anywhere, rather get it checked out before you hit the road.
  • Assess your tyre situation and see if any need replacing – they should have at least 3mm of tread. The R5 coin is a good trick – place this into the tread. The brown part of the coin should be fully covered by the tread. Now is also a good time to get your tyres inflated, and get them aligned and balanced too.
  • Check that your spare wheel is in good condition, and that you have the correct tools to change a tyre if necessary. If necessary, do a practice run on changing a tyre just to help smooth things along should you get stuck alongside the road.
  • When packing the car, make sure you have sufficient snacks, drinks and entertainment for the kids, and more wet wipes than you think you’ll need. It also helps to have a phone charger, emergency contact details on hand, a first aid kit and jumper cables (just in case!).

On the road:

  • Make sure your kids are safely seated. Unrestrained children are more likely to be injured, suffer severe injuries and die in an accident than those who are restrained.

According to Arrive Alive, families should follow these following safety tips on every ride:

  • Buckle up every time, no matter how short the trip.
  • Children 12 and under should be properly restrained in a back seat. A back seat is generally the safest place for a child to ride. While airbags can save lives, kids riding in the front seat can be seriously injured or killed if an airbag is deployed on impact. Even with advanced airbags or no airbags, the back seat is safer for children.
  • Never put a rear-facing child seat in a front seat with an active frontal airbag.
  • Choose the right child safety seat or safety belt for your child’s size and age. Make sure you have the right seat for your child.
    • Infants should ride in rear-facing safety seats as long as possible, until they are at least 12 months old and weigh at least nine kilograms.
    • Children who are at least a year old, weigh nine to 18kg and can no longer ride in rear-facing seats should ride in forward-facing child safety seats.
    • Children over 18kg should be correctly secured in belt-positioning boosters or other appropriate child restraints until the adult lap and shoulder belts fit correctly, usually around age eight.
    • Once the vehicle safety belts fit children, both lap and shoulder belts should be used correctly.
  • Install and use your child safety seat or seat belt according to the manufacturer’s instructions and your vehicle owner’s manual.
  • Ensure your child safety seat has not been recalled.
  • Don’t ever leave your kids alone in the car, even if it’s for a short time.
  • Follow safe-driving rules to prevent accidents. Always stick to the speed limit and the rules of the road, and avoid doing the following: texting, eating, driving with items on your lap, applying makeup, setting the GPS, driving with headphones, and turning around to tend to your kids.

Safe travels!

“Unrestrained children are more likely to be injured, suffer severe injuries and die in an accident than those who are restrained.”

About RoadCover

RoadCover offers a range of products to assist you with various time-consuming claims processes, as well as licence, legal and bail assistance, and pothole cover.RoadCover gives victims of car accidents access to a working, cost-effective claims management system that allows you to be compensated in full by the Road Accident Fund at no cost to themselves.

Their mission is to remove the very difficult and complicated process that an individual would need to go through when processing a claim with the Road Accident Fund, after being injured in a car accident by another negligent driver.