How to stay safe on

road trips

Skoda Enyaq, 2023, roofbox
Washer fluid check
Checking oil level

MANY Brits are staying put this summer, with more than a third opting for a UK staycation over travelling abroad.

New research from Skoda UK has uncovered how motorists get ready for long road trips, and has pulled together a handy summer checklist to help keep the car in top condition.

The research reveals 30 per cent of drivers forget to check their tyre pressures before setting off. Not only can poorly inflated tyres reduce efficiency by around three per cent or more, but under inflated tyres can reduce the ability of the car to brake or turn effectively.

Further demonstrating a lack of road trip readiness, 53 per cent of motorists only check the fluid levels of their car less than once in every three months, with five per cent not checking at all.

Lower than necessary fluid levels increase the risk of a breakdown and potentially serious damage to a car, a problem that could be exacerbated for the 18 per cent of drivers who admitted to having have no roadside assistance cover at all, leaving them at greater risk of being stranded.

Holiday-goers beware, failure to keep up with simple maintenance tasks such as topping up washer fluid or checking the wipers, not only risks safety on the road but can also result in a £100 on-the-spot fine or three points on your licence.

Away from the needs of the car, there are those of the occupants, and Skoda's data shows that 43 per cent of drivers don't carry additional water in case of long delays or an emergency. More than half also forego keeping a first aid kit in their car.

Skoda's top tips for summer road trips:

1. Inflate tyres.Correctly inflated tyres means better fuel economy and a car that will accelerate, brake and turn as expected.

2. Tread carefully.Not having the correct tyre tread depth puts you at risk of an accident and is illegal.

3. Pack high-visibility jackets.Although not a legal requirement in the UK, there's no harm in keeping a number of high-vis jackets in the car just in case, to ensure that occupants are clearly visible to passing motorists in the event of a breakdown.

4. Double check fluid levels.Ensure a car's coolant, oil and washer fluid levels are correct to reduce your chances of a breakdown and being fined for having an empty screen wash bottle.

5. Pack a first aid kit.Always useful to have on hand.

6. Bring water.Dehydration can cause fatigue and a dip in concentration levels, so have enough water for everyone in the car. Pack enough that there is plenty extra in case of lengthy traffic jams.

7. Check air conditioning.Skoda takes air conditioning technology seriously, testing in temperatures ranging from -40 to 60 degrees Celsius, but maintenance and system health is important. Before going away, ensure air conditioning doesn't need re-gassing, and that it is used regularly even if it isn't hot, as this will ensure the compressor and seals are well lubricated.

8. Take regular breaks.Plan your journey ahead of time to so you can set off in good time and not rush, and add in a quick 15 minute break every two hours.

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