Brian Joss – Every motorist’s goal is to journey safely from point A to point B. Here are some tips from Tiger Wheel & Tyre’s to get you safely to your destination.
Decoding Route Markers
As common as they are, it’s surprising how few motorists understand what route markers mean. These are the blue road signs that read something like “N4-7X and below that 32,0 W”. Happily, it’s not a complicated code to crack. N4 identifies the road you’re travelling on, 7X tells you which section you are on, 32 denotes your kilometre position on that section and W indicates you’re travelling west.
This information may seem trivial, but if you have to call emergency services from the roadside, it will help them pinpoint your location to within about 100 m. If you have to jog over to find one of these signs, note that they are situated at 200m intervals on all national roads.
Protecting Little Passengers
In emergencies where adults are unable to speak on behalf of small children, it’s important that emergency personnel have all the information they need. Tiger Wheel & Tyre recommends you attach an ICE (in case of emergency) tag to children’s car seats. Include the child’s name and date of birth, the names and phone numbers of both parents and an additional emergency contact/s as well as the child’s pediatrician, plus information regarding any allergies or medical conditions.
Save Emergency Numbers on Your Phone
It’s difficult to think clearly under dramatic circumstances, whether that’s a car accident or a puncture in a neighbourhood that makes you nervous. Give yourself an advantage by saving all emergency and roadside assistance numbers on your phone, so you won’t have to fumble around for them.
You should also save your ICE information to your phone. Both Apple (iOS 8 and later) and Android phones have a feature that enables this information to be displayed on your Lock Screen, so emergency responders can read it from a locked phone. In iOS, go to the Apple Health App, select Medical ID, fill in your information, activate “Show When Locked” and hit Save. On an Android phone, open the Settings, select Security & Location, by Screen Lock select Settings, then tap Lock Screen Message, enter your ICE info and save.
Vehicle Fitness Matters
Whether you’re journeying across the country or driving as usual, remember to regularly assess your “vehicle fitness”. Check indicators and lights, see that you have the necessary tools to change a flat tyre, and that your tyres are inflated to the manufacturer’s recommended pressure, which you’ll find in the owner’s manual or inside the driver’s door. The tools you’ll need to change a tyre include, an emergency triangle to warn approaching drivers of an upcoming hazard, wheel chocks (rocks or bricks also work) to prevent the car rolling when it’s jacked up, a spanner to loosen the wheel nuts and a jack to lift the vehicle. If you have McGard wheel locks (available from Tiger Wheel & Tyre), you’ll also need the special wheel nut ‘key’ that came with them.
TW&T offers a free vehicle safety check. Visit: www.twt.to for more.
CAPTION: Warning signs: take heed of route markers. Picture: Quickpic