The month of December, which is characterized by heavy rains, also happens to be the festive season with much activity including travels to visit family and friends. In these moments when traffic is on a high, the last thing you want is to jeopardize your road safety. Guaranteeing the safety of your vehicle is a prime initiative. Car safety gives one peace of mind when you are on the road and aware that there is less risk of harm to you as the driver, your passengers and other road users. As the largest car service provider in the country, Toyota Rwanda pinpoints safety elements and shares good practices drivers and owners should pay attention to, especially during the rainy season when roads are known to get difficult and unsafe. Original windscreen wipers During a rainy period, having windscreen original wipers is paramount. The windscreen wipers clean the windshield properly for clear vision and protects it from scratches. Original wipers assure you that you can get to see the road and all other conditions. Imagine your wipers failing at night at a sharp corner. You dont want to drive with your eyes shut, do you? Quality brakes and brake fluid During the rainy season, roads are bound to get slippery and necessitate having quality brakes. Also called brake fluid, brake fluid is the blood of the braking system and ensures safe braking (operation, cooling and lubrication). If you use incorrectly rated, adulterated or dirty brake fluid, your car may not stop in good time, if at all. No one would want this - drivers or other road users. Daily habits Every time you occupy the drivers seat, make sure that you are as comfortable as possible. Adjust your seat to your most comfortable position as well as side mirrors and rear-view mirror until you can see a 360° view. Immediately on starting the vehicle, check the dashboard as it will indicate any registered or potential problems. Weekly checks Every week, check the tyre pressure (the spare wheel as well), fluid levels (brake, power steering, engine oil and wiper washer) and lights operation (brake lights, indicators and fog lights). You also should check the windshield demister, rear defogger and battery terminal condition. Monthly habits Check the service maintenance reminder and tyre treads wear for any abnormalities and sidewall cracks. On-the-road tips It is for your safety to always to check and obey traffic signs and road markings. Be aware of the road conditions. Pay attention to the dashboard gauges and warning lights as well as to pedal and controls feel and any abnormal sounds and smells. Always-to-remember tips The best care of your vehicle means using genuine parts fitted by professional technicians. The tool kit – it is almost always forgotten till it is needed and cannot be found. Safety begins with you. It is personal, OWN IT! If your car is not properly maintained by a professional, you might not be able to stop it. Or it might break down when you least expect it. Interviewee: George Ikenye is the National Service Manager at Toyota Rwanda Ltd. His experience in the automotive industry spans over 18 years in various fields such as automotive engineering, quality assurance and after-sales services.