Roadside Top Tips

Kids locked in cars

In the past few months we’ve seen a bout of record-breaking temperatures hitting Australia, with the mercury soaring a huge 15C above the average seasonal temperatures.

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology has forecast the 2015/16 to be the hottest summer on record, a prediction that sets alarm bells ringing particularly when it comes to tragic incidents of kids accidentally being locked in cars.

In 2014 Allianz Global Assistance assisted a total of 367 incidents of kids being locked in cars and a total of 354 in 2015 (January to September), a number set to climb as the days get warmer.

Many people think, “this would never happen to me” but it’s so important for parents to know that this is possible, particularly as the signs of stress and exhaustion can be hard to recognise. To ensure the utmost safety this summer, we strongly advise parents consider the following tips:

  • Make sure you have your keys in your hands or pocket at all times
  • Familiarise yourself with the car’s central locking functions before travelling with children
  • When parked (and when young children are inside), always ensure one door is open to avoid the car automatically locking
  • Carry toys with you to act as a form of ‘entertainment’. This will resist temptation to hand the keys to a young child
  • Ensure you are familiar with who your roadside provider is so you can get immediate help if needed

Allianz Global Assistance welcomes anyone, customer or not to call if their child is locked in the car, we will send one of our technicians to access your vehicle whether you have a policy with us or not. We can assist around Australia at any time or on any day.

Be extra prepared when driving on public holidays

Call-out data from Allianz Global Assistance indicates that Aussie drivers are 60% more likely to need roadside assistance on a public holiday, such as Labour Day, than any other day of the year.

On average, we receive more than 700 calls on a public holiday compared to just over 400 on normal days. In fact, over a typical Labour Day weekend, we expect to help at least 4000 Australian motorists across the country with mechanical problems or other roadside emergencies.

Because we’re committed to helping Australians in need, we make additional roadside assistance staff available on public holidays so assistance is on standby. But what can you do to avoid problems?

Three tips for hassle-free driving on public holidays:

  1. It might be just a day or weekend away, but you should prepare your car the same way you would for an extended drive.
  2. Remember that more people are on the road and allow plenty of time to get to your destination, and if possible, avoid driving at peak times.
  3. Try not to enter holiday mode until you’ve arrived safely. Drive with your usual caution, show patience and limit distractions so you reduce the risk of avoidable mishaps.

Useful advice for riding with your pets

Unfortunately for our furry friends, we’re called for help to rescue animals locked in cars about 100 times every year.

Travelling with pets requires additional preparation. Leaving your animal unattended in a car, even for a few minutes, can have devastating consequences. Many people don’t realise that the internal temperature of cars can rise rapidly, no matter the time of year or if the windows are down.

For short or long trips with your pet, keep these tips in mind:

  1. Make sure they’re welcome: If you’re not certain you won’t have to leave your dog or cat unattended in your vehicle, reconsider taking them. Check if your pet will be welcome and safe at your destination, and if not, leave them with family, friends or a professional minder.
  2. Stop regularly: Give your dogs – and yourself – a break. Travelling with a dog is like travelling with a child. Even if you can push yourself to drive for hours on end, dogs have different needs.
  3. Keep them hydrated: Dogs do not tolerate the heat well because they cannot sweat. Ensure they have regular access to water, regardless of how long the trip is, to help them stay cool.
  4. Look for the signs: Look for signs that your animal is in distress; excess panting or drooling, increased heart rate, disorientation or trouble breathing.

Our top ten tips for safer road travel

Here is a handy checklist of ten essential tips to help ensure your next drive is a safe one:

  1. Leave yourself plenty of time and if possible avoid peak travelling times.
  2. Check your oil and tyre pressure before setting off on your travels.
  3. If travelling alone, be sure to advise a friend or family member of your route and estimated arrival time.
  4. Ensure your mobile is fully charged in case you are required to make an emergency call.
  5. If possible, share the driving with a friend or relative to avoid fatigue.
  6. Stop and take regular breaks so that you are physically and mentally recharged.
  7. Carry your insurance details with you at all times.
  8. Ensure you keep your petrol tank above 1/4.
  9. Plan your route in advance.
  10. Keep an eye on the weather before you depart as this might incur delays or hazardous conditions.

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