vehicle checklist raya 2013

Hari Raya Aidilfitri is just a few days away, which means many will be taking to the roads to make the journey home to be with their loved ones or to visit friends and relatives across the country.

While there’s plenty of revelry and merriment in store, the thing to remember is that safety must come first, which means not attempting to set speed records or break road rules. In the spirit of such a noble season of gratitude, warmth, understanding and forgiveness shared amongst friends and family, we ask all who will be undertaking long balik kampung journeys to keep alert, cautious, patient and sensible behind the wheel.

Here’s our vehicle checklist and guide – which we’ve run in the past – to aid in a smooth and fuss-free journey. As with editions past, feel free to share your tips, suggestions and advice with us in the comments section.

BEFORE THE JOURNEY

1) Check your vehicle’s:

  • General running condition
  • Fluids – brake, battery, coolant, power steering, motor oil, gearbox and windscreen washer
  • Lights – including signal lamps and the third brake light
  • Gauges and instruments
  • Wipers – blades not split or worn
  • Handbrake
  • Tyre tread, correct tyre pressure
  • Fuel level (good idea to fill up before you set off)

2) Check that you have in your vehicle:

  • Spare wheel (inflated to correct pressure), jack, tyre repair kit and any other related equipment
  • Warning triangle
  • Jumper cable
  • First-aid kit

3) Pack any cabin supplies you might need – umbrella, tissues or napkins, pillows and blankets, food, water, GPS, mobile handsfree kit and charger ,and so on. Items in the boot should be safely secured so that they don’t move around as you drive.

4) Plan your journey – departure and estimated arrival times, alternative routes to avoid delays.

5) Ensure you have funds in your SmartTAG or Touch ‘n Go, and that your SmartTAG has a healthy battery.

6) Rest well beforehand.

DURING THE JOURNEY

1) Drive patiently and responsibly – remember, you have your family with you. Maintain a safe distance from the car in front – remember, your car will be loaded, so you’ll need a greater stopping distance – and indicate before changing lane.

Keep left if not overtaking and stay within the national speed limit. Turn your headlamps on in rain or fog to improve yours as well as others’ visibility.

Only in cases of emergency should you stop your vehicle on the emergency lane. Be courteous to pedestrians as well as other motorists, and always obey the rules of the road.

Buckle up – that means everyone in the car, including rear seat passengers. We cannot stress enough on this often neglected aspect.

If you have little ones travelling with you, we wish to again remind you about the importance of child car seats. Some of our readers will of course be making the journey home with a loaned child car seat, courtesy of our free child car seat rental campaign.

2) Take breaks every two hours or so to recharge. It’s a good idea to share the driving if you aren’t the only one in the group who can drive.

3) To stay alert and awake on the move, chew on snacks, listen to music or chat with your fellow passengers.

IN CASE OF A BREAKDOWN/EMERGENCY

1) Get your vehicle off the road if possible and activate hazard lights. It’s best to exit the highway and find a safer place to stop if you can, rather than stopping on the emergency lane.

2) Stop as far to the left as possible and turn wheels to the left. Exit the vehicle (your passengers too) and call for help. Attempting repairs on your own can be dangerous, especially on the highway, so it’s best to wait for help.

3) Keep well clear of oncoming traffic and do not stand anywhere close to your vehicle. Make sure your passengers do the same.

Finally, all of us at paultan.org would like to take this opportunity to wish all our Muslim readers Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri, and for everyone else, happy holidays. Wherever you’re heading, we wish you a safe and comfortable drive to your destination.