Meet a few of the mothers that help NRMA Members every day

NRMA mothers helping MembersBeing an apprentice mechanic is hard work. Being a single mother is hard work. Combining the two is mind-boggling – but that’s what Monica does. And with four children at the age of 34, we can only applaud her commitment.

“I knew that my age was working against me and I knew that being a woman was going to work against me, but if you want to do something you keep trying until you get what you want”, she said.

“I’m a proud mum and even prouder that I’m working for the NRMA and showing my kids that you can be whatever you want – you just have to have a go.”

That’s the lesson she hopes her children will take from her example – and when the NRMA recently visited her children’s primary school to teach the kids about road safety, one of her 9 year old twins hopped up to boast about her mum being an apprentice mechanic for our car servicing business.

Monica NRMA car servcing

Monica is an apprentice mechanic and mother of four children.

It takes a special kind of workplace to make stories like this possible and aside from helping families to keep moving on their journeys, the NRMA has long believed in equality in the workplace and in supporting staff with families wherever possible.

“You only have to look at the female representation on the board and within the leadership team.” says Sam Taranto, Executive General Manager of Motoring at the NRMA and herself a mother of four.

“It’s not just a flexibility for women at work, it’s a flexibility for everybody to do what they have to do to manage their families – and that means people with older parents, people with small children, people with teenage children, grandparents helping look after grandkids … it’s not something we just say, family really matters within this organisation and we see it in practice all the time.”

When asked if being a mother impacts how she manages her team, Taranto said it makes her think deeply about whether the work environment is one she’d want for her own children’s first or second job.

“The obligation for us to make sure that the workplace is one that is a really positive experience for each employee is critical, particularly when we’re bringing in younger, more junior employees for their first or second job – that’s why we’ve got coaching and mentor programs in place to support younger employees,” she said.

Samantha Taranto NRMA

Sam Taranto is an Executive General Manager and mother of four.

For some mums, the NRMA is exactly the kind of place they want their children to work. After herself starting a role in our call centre, mother of three Sandra decided to pass her recently graduated daughter Phoebe’s resume on for consideration. Two years later and they’re both still working at the NRMA.

Sandra sees her team as somewhat of a second family, often working after hours to decorate her team area in different themes to help maintain staff morale.

“It’s not always about what you get out of it, it’s about making the whole work environment enjoyable, and whatever you give you’ll get back tenfold – that’s how I live my life and how I expect my kids to be as well,” she said.

Mother of two Belinda started working with the NRMA in Tumut back in 1998 when her father ran the local agency, which she now runs with her husband and their employees – including two other mothers.

“It’s a great company to work for and I think the fact that we do generally want to help people, I just like the idea of being able to help people and assist when they need it,” she said.

But Belinda’s association with the NRMA started long before being an employee.

“With my first car, I wasn’t allowed to drive out the driveway unless I had NRMA roadside available,” she said.

“It’s just something that was instilled into me as a young driver, and a lot of our Members now are bringing their kids in and making sure that they’re also covered when they’re out there on the road.”

If you head to the NRMA agency in Grenfell in the Central West of New South Wales, you might meet mother of three and grandmother to seven Val.

Not only does she help Members when they’re renewing or upgrading, she’s also there to help her husband Pete – the local NRMA patrol – and his occasionally stranded passengers.

One of Val’s stories took place a few years back on a long weekend: the local caravan park and motel were full, and Pete got called to a job at 2am.

A couple of hours later he woke Val asking if the spare beds were made up, because there were a young couple with two small kids that needed a place to stay until they could get their car repaired next day.

“If it involves old people or young kids, it’s just something you do because, you know, if you were stuck out there and you had little kids, you’d want someone to help you. That’s the attitude you get because you’re a mother,” she said.

“But I feel the same way if it’s oldies too, because my mum’s still alive, she’s 93, and I’d like to think if she’s stuck on the road, I would want someone to help her.”

This Mother’s Day, we take our hats off to all the mothers in our community and we hope everyone finds time to check in with family. Oh, and that goes especially for Val’s three kids, because according to her, “They’d be in big trouble if they don’t!”

Spoil Mum with an Event Cinema Mother’s Day package

Help in the palm of your hand – download the mynrma smartphone app

5 rules passengers should never break

Follow this passenger etiquette to keep all your friends and maintain a happy in-car environment.

Passenger Rules

If you want to ride in the passenger seat (‘shotgun’) there are certain rules you must be aware of.

Everyone hates a back-seat driver. But there are many other annoying things passengers do that can get under the skin of drivers. If you commute often with friends or family, you’ll recognise the below responsibilities that aren’t taken seriously.

The Aux Cable
The auxiliary cable connects your media device to the vehicle’s sound system. Those who hold it are responsible for the auditory enjoyment of everyone in the car. TIP: Keep a driving playlist of the best driving songs on standby so if your passenger is not performing as ‘car DJ’ you can take action. The same applies for Bluetooth connection.

Car Doors
Some passengers just don’t understand how irritating it is when someone gets in (or out) of your vehicle and slams the door. Unless the car door cannot close properly, there’s no need to close the door with huge force. TIP: Don’t slam the door.

Door Slam Meme

HADOUKEN: Doors are designed to be closed, not slammed.

Air Conditioning
During the summer this simple feature can make or break friendships if not used correctly and fairly. Agree on a temperature and sick to it, if there is ever an argument the drivers wishes take priority. TIP: Keep your car cool during the summer while parked to avoid heated arguments.

Radio Tuning
Similar to the aux cable, music playing in the car can be the difference between an enjoyable journey and a nightmare commute. Use the presets set by the owner of the car as these are more likely to be decent radio stations with good signal strength within the area. Never reprogram the presets the owner has set. TIP: Use the scan function to find nearby stations.

Eating and drinking
Okay, so there’s no hard and fast rule when it comes to the fast food drive-through. Does the driver order on behalf of the car, or does the passenger lean over to order their meal? Eating in the car is legal as long as you ask the driver first, but please do not chew with you mouth open or make any annoying chewing noises as this can drive some travelers crazy. TIP: Buy the driver’s meal as a thank you instead of offering petrol money.

What passenger behaviour grinds your gears?

Why You Should Never Put Your Feet On The Dash

Passenger feet are seen on dashboards everyday but would that be the case if travelers understood the dangers associated with ‘resting their legs’?

Don't rest easy: It's not illegal to put feet up on the dashboard but that doesn't mean you should do it.

Don’t rest easy: It’s not illegal to put feet up on the dashboard but that doesn’t mean you should do it.

Putting your feet on the dashboard is dangerous and potentially fatal. Upon impact passenger frontal airbags are deployed from inside the dashboard so if your feet are up at the height of the dash your legs will be pushed upward rather than keeping your legs and lower body secured in a seated position.

Is it illegal?

NSW Road Rule 268 covers how persons must travel in or on a motor vehicle, however it does not mention the specifics on seating positions or having feet on the dashboard. So it’s not illegal but still should never be practiced, on the off chance your airbags are deployed while your feet are resting on the dash.

Frontal airbags generally deploy in head-on collisions where the force of the impact is greater than hitting a solid object at a speed greater than 25km/h. In head-on collisions with a stopped vehicle, the speed would generally need to be significantly higher than 25km/h for the airbags to deploy. This means that even a minor crash can cause serious damage if you are caught with your legs or feet resting on the dash.

Knee airbags are also deployed to keep your lower legs safe upon impact, but only if your feet are rested on (or close to) the floor. If these airbags were to push your legs and knee caps towards your face it could result in horrific injuries.

Crashes are unavoidable sometimes due to other driver’s mistakes and a vehicles safety features (i.e airbags) provide protection from injury. The vehicle structure, seat belt system and airbags are all designed to provide crash protection. However these features don’t work as intended if the person in the car is not sitting upright in the vehicle.

So next time you see feet up on the dashboard remind your loved ones to put them back on the floor where the vehicle’s airbags can keep you as safe as possible.

Would this information make you think twice about ‘riding shotgun’ with your feet on the dash?

Membership with the NRMA means more than just roadside assistance, see what your Membership can do for you.

The information contained on this webpage is provided for general information purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal advice or as a substitute for legal advice. 

While we endeavour to ensure the information is complete and up to date, we make no warranties as to the accuracy or any other aspect of the information and accept no responsibility for any loss or damage you may suffer as a result or your reliance on any part of it. Links to other websites are inserted for convenience only and do not constitute endorsement of material on those sites, or any associated organisation, product or service.

Car Hacks That Will Make Your Life Easier

The NRMA has been around for a while now, and during our time we’ve picked up some simple car hacks.

1. Use cereal containers to keep your car food rubbish in, this eliminates odors and keep your vehicle looking clean and tidy.
Car container

2. Keep you backseat fur free by placing a blanket over the seats. It keeps all the fur in one place and it also make it quick and easy to clean. While you drive your furry friend around don’t forget how to keep you pets safe while driving.

3. Clean your air vents with cotton buds to remove dirt and dust that may be making your air conditioning musty, for an enjoyable scent, place a cotton ball with a few drops of essential oils between the front vents.

4. Locate fuel and parking in your area with the new my nrma app. Remember P1 & P2 drivers can no longer use mobile devices while driving a vehicle.

5. Do you always forget where you parked in the parking building? Simply take a picture on your smartphone of the closest painted level and section signage.

6. Make sure your vehicles tyres are always properly inflated to the manufacturer’s specifications. Air is free at most fuel stations, and helps your vehicle perform more efficiently and use less fuel.

7. Forgotten which side of the car the fuel cap is? Many car makes have a small arrow on the dashboard next to the fuel gauge which points to the side you’ll find the fuel tank.
fuel gauge

8. Have the convenience of tissues in the car without a big box sliding around. Easily create a DIY tissue dispenser by placing the tissues in a recycled coffee cup and keep in a cup holder.

9. This one is from our Facebook; easily take keys on and off key rings using a staple remover, never break a nail again!

NRMA Car Hacks

Do you have any special car hacks of your own?

How Can I Keep My Car Cool During Summer?

If you’ve lived through an Australian summer, you know how hot it can get inside a vehicle. So we’ve put together some tips to prevent scorching yourself with the seat belt buckle and to keep your dash from melting.

1. Seek shade: always look for covered parking when possible, even if you have to walk a little further. Under cover parking can take some time to find so use the my nrma app to find the closest parks in your area.

2. Use a sun reflector or sunshade to prevent your dashboard and steering wheel from becoming unbearably hot. If you have more than one, don’t forget to put a reflector on the rear window as well.

Sun reflector

Investing in a sun reflector will save you when shaded parking is unavailable.

3. Cover your steering wheel with a hand towel in the absence of a sun reflector.

4. Cover seats with spare clothing or towels to prevent your upholstery from drying and/or cracking.

5. The fastest ways to cool down your car is to first roll down all the windows and open your sunroof, then switch on the air con using the ‘fresh air’ function. Use the coldest setting on the thermostat to pump fresh air through the car, forcing the hot air out. After a few minutes with the fan speed setting at 3/4 power you’ll notice the air temperature is cooler than outside. Switch over to ‘recirculate’ and also roll up your vehicle’s windows and adjust the thermostat settings to your desired temperature.

6. For the super keen, mini solar powered fans can be bought and help with circulation of air inside the car if you aren’t always able to park in shaded areas.

Health tip: Don’t leave disposable plastic water bottles inside the car on sunny days, there has been research that when plastic bottles are heated they can release harmful toxins that can leak into the drinking water.

Does tinted windows help reduce heat?
When comparing the temperature implications of plain versus tinted glass it may not be as much as some would hope. The rate of temperature rise will certainly be slowed by applying a film; however the difference in final car temperatures between plain glass and tinted glass sits at around 6°C.

Do you have any tips to keep your vehicle cool during the summer?