When traveling in your car, particularly long distances, take some extra time to pack your car correctly and to make sure you have everything you need.

Emergency items which prove useful are: emergency windscreens (not used so much now due to laminated screens), a cell phone, a torch, and a small first aid kit. Any reflective signs that you can put out if your vehicle is in trouble, or if you are changing a tyre. Use hazard lights when appropriate, but remember, many people use these believing they can park in a stupid spot and be “bullet-proof”.

If you have to change a tyre, make sure you are safe and that you and your vehicle are not likely to get hit by other traffic on the road. A damaged rim and tyre can be replaced, a life cannot.

Teach you children to alight from the passenger’s side of the vehicle, so they are not getting out into mainstream traffic. This goes for highways or if you are outside your local dairy. Don’t ever park on the wrong side of the road facing towards the traffic in the other lane. More and more people seem to be doing this out of laziness. Apart from the “children reason” mentioned the above, consider this. Your vehicle is illegally parked. Will you get insurance if something happens to it on this basis?. Vehicles traveling towards your parked vehicle at night will not see the reflector component of your tail-lights, again will you get insurance if someone hits it? Also, people do not expect you to pull into main stream traffic from the wrong side of the road. You may well be charged an offence if this has been a factor causing an accident.

If someone is following you, or you have been in a “road rage” incident and are fearful for your safety, use your cell phone to telephone Police. Or drive to a Police station, or place where there are numerous people around (service station or the like).

Do not pick up hitch-hikers, appearances can be deceiving.

Try not to leave valuables in your car that can be easily seen by others. The temptation can be too much for some light-fingered people. Lock you car every time is unattended, and do not leave it idling, even if you have just popped into the diary. Remember most hand-brakes can be easily released by toddlers. Leaving them in the car while you go else where is very dangerous for this, and other reasons.

Leaving pets and children in cars on hot days can result in suffering and even death. Either can result in you being charged with an offence.

If you come across an accident scene, ensure that you, your occupants, and car, are all safe before helping out. A further accident will not help the situation.

It is a good idea of you are traveling long distances, to let someone know where you are going and what times you are expected at your destinations.

Safe motoring everyone.