Most of us spend a fair amount of time driving in our cars on a daily basis. We can’t always prevent breakdowns or accidents, but we can be prepared by keeping a few important items in our cars that will help in the event of an emergency.
Make sure that you have your licence, registration, insurance papers, car manual and roadside assistance information on hand. Add a pen and some notepaper should you need to write down details after an accident, and you are good to go.
A basic tool kit and/or multi-tool will come on handy if you need a screwdriver, a pair of pliers of a pair of scissors.
Wire and duct tape will help with workaround repairs such as reattaching an exhaust pipe or holding body panels or bumpers in place after an accident until you can get to a garage for proper repairs.
WD-40 spray lubricant – while duct tape helps with things that move when they shouldn’t, WD-40 can help with things that don’t move that should.
A first-aid kit will help you to deal effectively with any minor injuries or accidents.
LED flares and reflective triangles will help during a breakdown at night, when it is vitally important for other motorists to be able to see you.
A torch and spare batteries will help you to see things at night – don’t rely only on your phone.
Keep a travel map of Australia in your car, for those times when technology fails you.
Food and water – things like nuts, muesli bars, jerky and dried fruit will travel well and will last for a while. In the city, this could be a convenience – but in rural areas this could be the difference between life and death if you are stranded for a long period of time, in summer.
Face wipes will come in handy whether you are in the city or in the bush. In addition to being used to clean up after eating in the car, they are an essential if you are transporting children. They will also help tremendously if you need to clean up after tinkering in the engine or changing a tyre.
Always keep a spare phone charger and power bank in your car – and even a spare basic phone fully charged, would be a great backup should your primary phone fail.
A spare tyre, full size, in good condition and inflated to the correct tyre pressure is an essential to carry in your car, together with a tyre changing kit. Tyre inflators and sealers are also useful should you get a puncture. Many manufacturers supply a space saver spare as standard equipment – this will do in urban areas to help you get to the nearest garage – but if you are in rural areas, especially on roads that are not tarred, it probably won’t get you as far as you need.
Jumper cables can get you going again if you experience a flat battery. Remember positive to positive and negative to negative – having jumper leads handy can help you or another stranded motorist.
Coolant and water – if you are going on a long journey and your car overheats, you will be glad that you packed these.
Put an umbrella or rain proof jacket in your car, to make sure that you are covered for those unexpected rainstorms. Along these lines, sunscreen and a hat – in case you are stranded in the heat.
In the past century, few nations have suffered more than the people of Ukraine. During the Second World War, the country, including its capital, were ravaged by the forces of Nazism. 2,000 mass graves of Ukrainian Jews remain throughout the country as evidence of a barbaric and shameful past.
Aside from the devastation caused by invasion, we remember the millions of Ukrainians who died in the famine imposed on Ukraine in the 1930s through the Stalinist policies directed against the peasantry from the Kremlin. This is one of the great crimes of modern history and is so often forgotten.
With this bloody history in mind, today we watch with anguish and despair as the people of Ukraine are invaded once more. Once again, we see needless suffering from policies directed from Moscow. Ukraine is facing loss of life, the prospect of loss of land, and loss of freedom.
Ukraine is a sovereign state and its people have the absolute right to determine whether their future lies in closer ties with Europe and the US or with Russia. The Russian Federation has sought to justify the military conquest of another state’s territory on the basis that they are protecting inhabitants of the same ethnicity allegedly suffering persecution. The use of this narrative as a pretext for invasion has a dark and sinister history.
It is difficult to comprehend how such acts could even be contemplated by the Russian Federation, which has itself suffered so greatly and sacrificed so immensely in the struggle against foreign invaders. Russia's history is of finishing wars not beginning them, protecting their land and their people against the tyrannical aspirations of would-be conquerors. This is a glorious history of which the Russian people are justifiably proud. Yet today, Russia is the aggressor and its actions violate the most basic norms of international law and breach international peace and security.
We also watch with admiration as Ukraine’s president, Volodymr Zelensky demonstrates the very best of Ukraine and of leadership. His refusal to allow his nation to be consumed by a great military power, his refusal to evacuate himself and his family despite credible reports of assassination plots, his willingness to place himself on the frontlines to bolster the moral of his forces and his people, are truly inspiring. President Zelensky’s Jewish background show the new tolerance and diversity of Ukraine and its reconciliation with a troubled and complex past. President Zelensky has been lauded as the new leader of the free world, and he inspires us all to stand tall in the face of overwhelming force, to remain close to one’s people, to be guided by principle and integrity, and to fight with courage.
We hope that this war comes to an immediate and lasting end. We hope that a ceasefire can take effect to protect civilian life and infrastructure. And we hope that fruitful negotiations are commenced and successfully completed. We deplore the bloodshed and suffering needlessly imposed on the Ukrainian people. And we extend our solidarity to Ukraine and its people throughout the world during this most difficult time.
So you've got a partner, a dog, two point five kids, a good job, solar panels on the roof, and need a reliable modern car. Without any fault of your own, your pride and joy big SUV has just been centre-punched by some red light runner.
So what comes next? You have a choice of rental car, to be paid for by the at fault drivers insurance provider. Obviously something in the same class. What do you choose? Something like a seven seat Toyota Kluger? Save the day the Carbiz way!
The Toyota Kluger hybrid? Lets have a look at it. First off, its a very utilitarian efficient vehicle, that does not stand out. But you know it has the legendary Toyota reliability and toughness. You are not trying to impress the neighbours, you just want comfortable reliable transport that is non-polluting, quiet and comfortable, and has all the electronic bells and whistles that will keep the kids amused.
The Kluger sits midway between the smaller Toyota cars, and the very popular rugged Land Cruiser models. It is notably quiet to drive, and just feels so smooth and easy to drive. You sit higher than in a regular small car, which is very nice in heavy traffic conditions.
Much of the time in traffic it will be running on its electric motor, but you have no worries about range as in an all-electric car. The Toyota's hi-tech 2.5 litre 4 cylinder petrol engine will kick in as required, either to supply extra power when needed, or to charge the battery in continuous slow traffic. The absolute best of both. You are not trying to make a statement, as in buying a pure electric which might run short of power just when the kids need to be somewhere, like half an hour ago.
Safety is top class, with seven airbags, and an array of semi-autonomous safety functions that virtually take control of the car if it detects an object like a cyclist, or strays from its lane. With its detection systems, it almost has a spatial aura all around it that enables it to escape if that space is violated.
Plenty of cargo space for junk, rides well, not at all harsh, ticks all the boxes really. Resale value is not an issue. Perfect!
And if after a taste you decide that an outback holiday adventure sounds like a good idea, you're ready. I know of people who have driven their Kluger to Birdsville on a camping trip. It rode the stoney roads very well, allowed zero ingress of dust, and came home ready to do it again. While the Land Cruisers might be the true outback tool for the Simpson Desert, the Kluger is extremely capable of handling the outback's formed roads without feeling that it is being stretched or tested. But check the contract fine print before heading off!
And once home you CAN impress the neighbours by leaving it dust covered for a few days. It is almost de rigueur for a Kluger to flag that it has been to the outback.
Carbiz is leading the industry with an ever-growing fleet of green vehicles both Hybrid and Electric. Being not at fault in a car accident means you are entitled for a replacement car just like yours at no cost to you.