With the number of public holidays upon us, it is safe to say that a lot of us will be hitting the road to make the most of our mini-breaks.

With that in mind, certain checks need to be in place for us to have a safe and enjoyable trip. One of my closest friends learned all about these checks on a road trip up-country, not too long ago.

Why the Safety Checklist is Important

It all started off incredibly well, her boyfriend and her popped into their local FreshStop and grabbed their padkos, she loves their Seattle Coffee Company coffees, and he loves their Krispy Kreme doughnuts. They filled up at Caltex and did the routine pre-long distance journey safety check: license disc up to date, flickers and lights in working order, car seat adjusted, seat belts working, mirrors adjusted accordingly and nothing blocking their windows or blind spots, and lastly, tyre pressure checked (by a helpful Caltex attendant of course!), and they were off.

About 4 hours into their trip, they took a much-needed stop for fatigue at another FreshStop on their route. They stretched their legs and grabbed a quick lunch, a padkos classic, a Pieman’s pie. While relaxing, they checked in with the friend who they were visiting up-country. All was on track. Well, almost, all the pre-trip checking was done via voice note. No maps were downloaded. Why download a map when we have 5G? Fatal error number 1. Fatal error number 2 happened when they tried to call their friend to share their route – their (bad) friend wasn’t answering her phone.

The couple decided to hit the road again and not waste more time. They drove along listening to their Spotify playlist, jamming away when they realised their map was updating rather slowly. Strange. They also didn’t remember their friend mentioning a dirt road. Then the unspeakable happened: their music stopped. (Fatal error number 3? They didn’t download any podcasts or Spotify playlists.) They pulled over and checked their phones, no signal.

Long story short, after 5 hours of navigating a horrible and dangerous dirt road, they made it to their destination. They arrive stressed but thankfully not hungry due to their great FreshStop padkos stash.

Further Safety Tips

The moral of the story is? Make sure you have a safe and stress-free journey. Be sure to download any listening material and, more importantly, any trip-related information in case of no signal (maps, routes, phone numbers, etc.). Always perform a pre-trip check – if you are unsure of what needs to be checked, a friendly Caltex attendant can always point you in the right direction. Lastly, ensure you provide your route and ETA to a reliable friend or family member who isn’t on the trip with you.