Road trip season is here! There’s nothing quite like packing up the truck and heading out on the open road to the Jersey Shore, Poconos, or maybe even all the way to the West Coast.
Shipping off on a vacation is an exciting time, but before we get to relax, there’s always a lot of packing to be done and boxes to be checked. All of this craziness usually keeps our focus on our destination and we forget to ready our transportation for the trip.
To help you have an enjoyable, safe trip, Automotive Training Center (ATC) put together the following road trip safety guide. Reference these tips before your road trip this summer, and it’ll be smooth sailing to your vacation spot!
1. Get Your Car Inspected and/or Serviced
Road trips demand a lot from your vehicle. So, even if you’re not at a routine maintenance milestone, getting your car inspected prior to taking a big trip is a must. By getting your ride checked out from top to bottom, you can be confident that your vehicle is ready to go the distance.
Hot weather can take an added toll on your vehicle. If you’re embarking on a road trip when summer is at its peak, don’t forget these summer car care tips.
2. Clean Your Lights & Windows
Giving the exterior of your vehicle a little TLC before hitting the road will help ensure you have a clear view of your lane position and surroundings while on the highway. Clean the outer housings of your headlights, tail lights, and signal lights, and make sure your window washer fluid reservoir is full.
3. Declutter the Cabin
After a season of driving, our cars tend to turn into carryalls for odds and ends. If it’s been a while since you cleaned out the inside of your vehicle, before a road trip is a great time to do some decluttering and sprucing up so you can have a fresh start for your trip.
4. Pack an Emergency Car Kit
You know the saying “It’s better to be safe than sorry”? That 100% applies for road trips. The more you can plan ahead and pack for “just in case” scenarios, the better.
These items should be in your emergency car kit: a flashlight with extra batteries, a fire extinguisher, flares, jumper cables, a First Aid kit, a standard tool set, paper towels, and non-perishable snacks and water. Oh! And don’t forget the chargers you need for your devices.
5. Stay Alert While on the Road
When you’ll be driving a long distance, planning a realistic, flexible schedule is incredibly important. Ideally, you should swap drivers every few hours to stay attentive and focused on the road.
Actively drinking water will help you feel awake, and time routine bathroom breaks accordingly. If you feel tired, do NOT continue driving: Switch drivers, or stop to rest.
6. Minimize Distractions
Taking a road trip often requires navigating new and unfamiliar territory using maps or GPS, which have the potential to be a major distraction while behind the wheel. If you need to edit your route, or get a closer look, make sure you pull off to the side of the road to do so. Your safety is far more important than getting to your destination a few minutes sooner.
Follow these tips during your next road trip, and it’ll be a whole lot easier to enjoy the experience. Wishing you a safe, fun, and relaxing summer!
Your friends at ATC