Road-trips are a staple of the summer travel season. Holidays like Father’s Day, the Fourth of July and Labor Day, as well as summer vacation for kids, usually mean families are taking their vehicles for extended driving trips. These trips can be rough on your daily use vehicle, especially if you’re going long distances or driving through hazardous terrain (dirt roads, windy mountains, etc.) You can reduce the hassle and stress of taking road trips by having a well thought out, planned itinerary, and using a checklist to prepare yourself and your vehicle for the journey. Our Summer Travel Safety Checklist provides information that will help you get your vehicle ready and prepare you for any bumps in the road along the way.
1) Plan out Your Trip– this is important because you need to know what elements you’ll have to deal with when driving. Will it be raining when you leave or along the way? Will you have to go through any mountains, or drive along a rural highway? How long will you be gone, and how much will you use your vehicle once reaching your destination? By addressing these variables, you’re already mapping out what your trip will be like, and are likely to be better prepared to deal with any “surprises” that may come up.
2) Get Your Car Serviced– this is really non-negotiable if you’re planning on taking a long trip and using one vehicle to get around during the vacation. Based on your itinerary and service history, your service advisor will be able to tell you what maintenance is necessary for the type of trip you are taking. Be sure to pay special attention to your brakes, transmission, and cooling systems, as these can cause a major headache for your journey if a problem is overlooked.
3) Do a Self-Evaluation– before heading out on the road, check your fluids, tires, and front and back lights. Listen to your car while driving during your commute and report any suspicious noises and movements to your service advisor before leaving. You would rather be overly cautious before a trip than to be panicking during it.
4)Prepare for the Worst– while no one anticipates an automobile accident, you always want to be sure you are prepared in case the worst should happen. Make sure your insurance information is up to date, and keep it in your glove compartment along with your registration, instruction manual, and any other important vehicle documents you may need. Also keep a first aid kit, jumper cables, spare tire, and jack in your trunk, and be sure to highlight any gas or service stations along your route just in case.