Packed roads and empty homes are the order of the day as the Easter holidays roll around, with many South Africans heading off with their families on a well-deserved break.
While this is a happy time for many, failure to plan properly can rapidly unravel your ‘best laid plans’. Not only are the country’s roads particularly dangerous at this time of year, but criminals are also out in force, taking advantage of unmanned properties.
So if you’re planning to return from your family break feeling relaxed and refreshed, it’s important to get your home and vehicle in order before you set off. Here are a few key points to consider before hitting the open road this Easter:
Give your vehicle a thorough check
Car troubles can quickly turn a happy holiday into a nightmare, so it’s vital you ensure your vehicle is in tip top shape before strapping the family in for that road trip. Make sure your vehicle’s servicing is up-to-date and that all mechanical systems are in good working order and don’t forget to inflate the tyres nd top up the oil and water before departure.
You’ll also want to check on the state of your emergency equipment and spare tyre to ensure you’re prepared for any eventuality. Ask your dealer or car maintenance / repairs workshop whether they offer a ‘pre-holiday’ check-up for your car, and leave the job in capable hands.
Brush up on your roadside skills
Despite your best attempts at preventative measures, accidents can happen and when they do, it’s important that you’re armed with the necessary skills to get your vehicle back on the road.
Your ability to efficiently change a tyre could mean the difference between hours stranded on the road side and a swift arrival at your destination. Brush up on those skills before you leave.
To change a tyre, make sure your car is safely parked before removing the wheel cover and loosening the wheel nuts with the wheel wrench. Then, wedge the jack under the reinforced area of the sill underneath the car and slowly raise the vehicle before removing the nuts and the wheel.
Replace the wheel and firmly reinsert the wheel nuts, before lowering the car to the ground and ensuring that the wheel nuts are tightly in place.
Your ability to change a tyre means little if your tyre changing kit isn’t up to scratch. Make sure you’re in possession of a fully inflated tyre, a wrench, a torch, a triangle and a functional tyre jack before you head off.
Check the terms of your vehicle insurance
Master the art of illusion
Returning to a ransacked home is no way to end a holiday, but the reality is that many simply can’t afford a permanent house sitter in their absence. Luckily, there are a few simple strategies to deter would-be criminals.
To create the illusion of somebody being at home, you’ll need to do away with predictability as criminals are well versed in the art of spotting patterns. Set your alarm and lights to go on and off at various intervals and ask your neighbours to stop by every now and then. It’s also worth considering cancelling any newspaper subscriptions or asking somebody to pick them up, as a pile of unread papers can quickly alert thieves to your absence.
MiWay is an Authorised Financial Services Provider (Licence no: 33970)
[By Nthabiseng Moloi, MiWay head of marketing & brand]
— Arrive Alive (@_ArriveAlive) April 11, 2017