Play it safe on the road, says auto expert


Rob Tucker: “Preparation is the golden rule.”

Rob Tucker: “Preparation is the golden rule.”

A Charles Darwin University automotive engineer says that planning and preparation are the best strategies for anyone considering a long-distance road trip this summer.

Automotive engineer Rob Tucker said there were a number of matters to be considered before motorists set out on a long-haul journey in Australia’s summer heat.

“This is a time of year when many Territorians travel vast distances on our roads and highways to visit families and friends,” Mr Tucker said.

“Preparation is the golden rule.

“Check your tires, lights, hoses and belts to ensure that they are in good condition and check fluid levels. Alternatively, take your vehicle to a service agent and have them undertake a safety inspection.

“Knowing that your vehicle is mechanically sound will give you peace of mind in an environment where you need to stay alert and focused.”

Mr Tucker said another “common sense road tip” was to take a break every few hours when driving long distances.

“This is more easily said than done, especially if you’re focused on reaching your destination, but it is critical from a safety perspective to take regular breaks, and to share the driving load where possible.”

Mr Tucker said it was important to open the air vent when using the air-conditioner for extended periods of time.

“A lot of people make the mistake of having the ‘circulation’ setting on, but recycled air contains less oxygen, which can contribute to drowsiness. It is safer for the driver to have fresh air coming into the cabin.”

He said it was always prudent to check various information services to establish road conditions, weather forecasts and fuel prices.

“There is always the chance that a long road trip will throw up a surprise, but in general, to be forewarned is to be forearmed,” he said.

Mr Tucker said he highly recommended that travellers carry plenty of drinking water.

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