Heels & Horsepower Magazine


Is your vehicle ready for the holidays?

By H&H Admin

It is important to prepare well for the trip, whether you’re travelling for just a few hours or embarking on a long road trip with overnight stops.

It’s been another tough year filled with mental and emotional stress, increased responsibilities, on-going financial commitments and uncertainty over the coronavirus pandemic. 

As we get into the holiday season, taking much needed time off to relax is a definite must.  Restrictions on global travel present South Africans with a perfect opportunity to explore our beautiful country. However, it is also the time when the roads become congested with a high number of vehicles ranging from passenger cars and motorcycles to trucks and buses.

Here are some road safety tips to take note of before you set off:


Before you set off, remember to check your tyres.  The tread on your tyres should be within the legal limit and the pressure should be adjusted especially if you have a heavy load. It is also a good idea to ensure that you have packed the correct tools with which to change a flat tyre and that the spare wheel’s pressure and tread are in good condition before you embark on your trip.


One of the most important (and cheapest to replace) items on your pre-travel checklist should be your car’s lighting system. Ask a friend or family member to help in ensuring that all lights including headlights, taillights, brake lights, hazard lights and indicators are working properly.

It is recommended to drive with your lights on at all times on a long journey, so as to ensure you are visible at all times. 


Effective brakes are crucial on all vehicles, not only during long-distance driving but at all times. Brake pads should be inspected by a qualified technician – any squeaks or scraping sounds are signs that brake replacements are probably necessary.

Vibrations on your pedal when braking indicate warped discs, which are a sign that the brakes either need skimming or replacing.


It is also important to have your battery checked by an authorised dealer. This is a simple and relatively quick test.  While battery replacement can be relatively pricey, so could the cost of a tow truck if one is needed to come to your rescue.


Streaks or smears on your windscreen are a sign that your wipers may need to be replaced. Driving through rain or a thunderstorm with worn wiper blades is an extremely dangerous and unnecessary risk, even more so on long drives.


Most modern cars make the inspection of fluid levels such as coolant, power steering and brake fluid quite easy for the average driver. If you’re uncomfortable doing this yourself, have them checked by your dealer or at the filling station. If the car is lacks any fluids, this could lead to overheating during the drive.

Driving for long hours on busy roads requires patience, staying alert and focused concentration, especially if you’re traveling with young children.

Be aware of other cars on the road at all times, drive within the speed limit and remember, safety first. A little respect goes a long way on the open road. Be mindful at all times.

Source: Wesbank Financial Services

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