The Easter vacations are nearly upon us, and, like every year, thousands of people will be taking to the roads. Last year, in 2018, 16 million trips on the roads were recorded and this year the numbers will no doubt be similar, in the absence of official estimates from the Department of Traffic (DGT).
Before starting off on your trip this Easter, there are a number of issues we should be taking into account. We should be checking the vehicle's condition, our child restraint systems and particularly in terms of the children that will be traveling with us on these upcoming vacations.
Make sure your car is well-maintained
The vast majority of people do not regularly travel long distances therefore, before taking off on our vacations it is a good idea to use a «checklist» to ensure the car is well-maintained.
Most importantly, we should check we have the proper fluid levels by checking the oil level, coolant level and the brake and windscreen wiper fluids. It is a good idea to check the brake system and to inspect the tires to make sure they are in perfect condition and that they have the recommended pressure and adequate tread depth.
Carrying out a brief inspection of the vehicle before going away on vacation is a smart way of ensuring the safety of our families.
Check the child restraint system
We should not only be making sure that we have a child car seat suitable for the child's physical characteristics and particular needs, above all if they have special needs, but we should also be checking that the seat is is perfect condition, without any obvious signs of wear and tear.
Prepare the trip ahead of time
It is important to check the weather forecast, and if for some reason the weather itself or the forecast is very bad for your chosen destination, it is better not to set off and to postpone the journey or change your destination.
Planning your trip should involve including regular stops on the journey, every two hours or 200 km, as a general rule, and rest periods. Having a plan in place means we can anticipate any difficulties on the journey and any possible extra journey time.
The baggage we take with us is extremely important, and apart from taking all essential items with us, such as the child's medication if they have special needs, it is a good idea to try not to take too much on the journey. We should also ensure that we have put these items in the car carefully in order to avoid overload and to distribute the weight properly. We should remember that loose objects can crash into passengers at an exponentially increased weight. Take a look at which objects children should not be using in the car and how dangerous it can be to have cell phones, tablets or screens in the car that are not secured in place.
When driving, wearing comfortable clothing is crucial, as well as having warm clothing, blankets, water and food in the vehicle in the event of an emergency.