Whether relocating across town or interstate, driving there with a car or van packed with boxes will often be part of your moving process. No matter the distance, it’s important to stay safe while on the road. Here are six quick and easy tips to get you and your belongings to your destination in one piece:
1. Check your vehicle
Ensuring your car or truck is up to the drive is critical before you move. Check your engine, radiator and fluids (coolants and engine oil). Make sure your tyres are in good condition and at the correct pressure and that your battery is in good working order.
2. Pack cars and trailers carefully
Moving at least some of your own belongings is common when moving house, but packing them with care is crucial. You will want to avoid any breakages or damages along the way, and to pack in a balanced way that keeps your vehicle safe while in motion at speed.
Make sure you:
- Load heavier items at the front of a trailer
- Secure goods safely with ropes to prevent them falling
- Don’t block views through windows or from mirrors gage
- Check your trailer is securely attached and rear lights connected before driving off
If you are worried about taking certain items with you, liaise with your moving company about taking larger or fragile items for you. In many cases your fragile or larger belongings will be safer if left in the care of professional removal transport than in your own vehicle.
3. Plan your route
Even if you’re not travelling far, it’s always a good idea to confirm the best directions before you take off when carrying a heavier than usual load. Determine your driving distance and the time required and leave yourself plenty of extra time, in case of an emergency or unavoidable delay, such as heavy traffic. Don’t forget to plan for regular rest breaks too, because driver fatigue is one of the biggest safety risks on the road.
4. Get the right cover
Confirm the kind of car or moving insurance you have – and whether you’re covered for breakdowns or accidents. Checking these details – and upgrading your cover if necessary – is essential for a safe journey that avoids unplanned expenses at a time when you can probably least afford them.
5. Obey the road rules
This is important, not only for avoiding fines and penalties, but for keeping you, your family and other road users safe. Wear your seatbelt, follow road signs, stick to the speed limits and don’t drive brashly.
If towing a trailer, you’ll need to drive more slowly than usual and leave extra room between your vehicle and others. If you decide to pull over, you’ll need lots of room; make sure you do so safely without blocking traffic, emergency lanes or access areas.
Remember to take your time; if you get tired, pull over and rest, or share the driving if possible – continuing while tired can put you and others at significant risk of harm.
6. Know your remote roads
If you’re driving through remote locations, you’ll need to do some extra preparation to ensure you can make the trip safely. Get hold of a printed map as well as your GPS and research your journey so the following questions are covered before you set out:
- What can you do if your vehicle breaks down?
- Where are the petrol stations along your route?
- Where are the toilets and refreshment facilities?
- Who should be informed about your route (eg. rangers or other authorities)?
- Is overnight accommodation available en route?
- Do you have a complete first aid kit and other supplies, like torches, water and emergency tools?
Plan a safe move
Chess Moving can help make your local or interstate move as smooth and safe as possible. Get a moving quote here.