road trip, Joe Stewart

Summer Road Trip Tips

Going On A Road Trip this summer?

With summer approaching, planning a road trip may already be in the works for you. There are some beneficial tips you can follow to help create the safest experience possible. Have fun on your adventure and make lifelong memories knowing you are well prepared for anything that may come your way.

Prepare Your Car

When was the last time the oil was changed in your car? What about tire rotation? Make sure you are maintaining your car on a regular basis. Your car will be hauling precious cargo, and you will want it to be ready to perform at its maximum level of efficiency. Prepare a maintenance checklist to check off each area of concern. Check all fluids, especially oil and fuel. With traveling extended distances, your tire pressure also needs to be checked. You will most likely be traveling at some point in the evening, so make sure your lights work properly. Also, check your turn signals, bright lights, and hazard lights.

Think about weather

You do not want to be stuck in a downpour with malfunctioning windshield wiper blades. Check to make sure they are working properly, and when you are checking your fluids, remember to top off your windshield wiper fluid. There is a good chance you may need to wipe away bugs from your windshield. It could be beneficial to also include Rain-X in your wiper fluid to assist with rain dispersal.

Buckle Up!

Check each passenger and yourself as everyone gets into the car. Make sure everyone, especially children and pets, are securely buckled in their seats. It is a basic safety requirement of being in a vehicle to buckle seatbelts. Children especially need to be checked. Car seats are intended to increase the safety of young children, but if they are not properly installed, they are unable to fully protect the occupants.
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Schedule Pit Stops and Breaks

You may want to drive all the way through to your destination, but it is a safer idea to take breaks along the way. If you have another person along with you who can drive, take turns. Fatigue can be an extremely dangerous thing combined with driving. Reaction time slows significantly. If you have pets and/or children, it is also a great idea to take breaks just to get them out of the car. Let them use the restroom, stretch their legs, and get some fresh air. Drivers can also refresh with a short break. I nice picnic at a rest stop could benefit everyone and be a great memory.

Be Proactive, Not Reactive

Go into your road trip anticipating and preparing for an accident or setback. Hopefully, your trip will run smoothly, but you never know what might happen. It is better to be prepared instead of being stuck without what you need. Be sure to pack your car with a flashlight, water and nonperishable food, spare tire and jack, phone charger, flares, and jumper cables. Consider putting Band-aids and other medical items in as well. You can purchase already prepared car emergency kits that you can keep in your car. Or, you can throw supplies into a sturdy bag specifically for those items.