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5 Simple Tips to Make Your Next Road Trip a Safety Success
There’s nothing like hitting the open road with your family. Sharing the spirit of adventure on the highway is something as American as apple pie. However, when you’re covering hundreds of miles over countless hours, there’s a lot that can go wrong. Being mindful of vehicle safety and the happiness of your passengers is key to any successful road trip. Whether it’s making sure your tires are in good shape or bringing enough snacks, the automobile experts at Mavis Discount Tire put together this handy list of car safety tips to make sure your next road trip is a success. Here are five safety tips to check off your list before your next trek.
1. Vehicle Safety & Maintenance Check by a Reputable Service Station
There are some things you should always have done before a big trip, and that includes making sure your vehicle is in top shape. Before you plan that cross-country trek, take your car into your local shop. Ask about the health of your tires, getting a tire rotation, changing your oil, and checking that your vehicle is ready for the long haul. A little prior preparation can prevent a world of inconvenience further down the road.
2. Emergency Car Safety Kit
When it comes to a road trip where you could potentially find yourself miles from civilization, it always pays to be prepared. That means packing an emergency safety kit for your car for those “just in case” kinds of situations. The DMV recommends that your kit should include essentials like jumper cables, a first aid kit, a flashlight, extra batteries, and road flares (for extra visibility). It’s already bad enough to be stranded on the side of the road, so make sure you’re prepared for the worst.
3. Check the Weather
This is a good idea for any vacation you might be going on. Pull up your destination and see what the weather is going to be looking like for the next week. You don’t want to show up with just a swimsuit only to arrive in the middle of a week-long storm! The National Weather Service is a reliable, no-frills option you can count on to keep you up to date. Depending on where you’re going, you may want to consider changing your plans if severe weather is in the forecast. This could include a snowstorm up north or an impending hurricane that threatens to ruin your Florida vacation.
4. Designate a Road Trip Assistant
During a long road trip, it’s important that you stay alert and keep your eyes on the road. That’s why having a designated helper can go a long way to reducing distractions and keeping everyone happy. Have a navigator or front seat assistant to help with passenger questions, give you directions, manage snack handouts, and anything else that would potentially take your eyes or concentration off the road. Whatever you do, don’t pick up your phone or allow issues with passengers or pets to distract you while driving. This is your navigator’s job. If you don't have a navigator, pull over and stop your vehicle in a safe location before attending to any of these issues.
5. Never Underestimate Roadside Assistance
For most people on the highway, this has probably saved their bacon on more than one occasion. Whether it’s a simple flat, a dead battery, or something worse, roadside assistance can be a godsend if you find yourself stranded. Subscribe to a roadside assistance program and make sure you have the details and numbers handy on your phone or in your glovebox. These services are wonderful but hard to utilize if you don't know which service you have or how to reach them. That happens more frequently than you may think.
Traveling can be stressful, even when everything goes as planned. By being prepared, you can cut down on potential problems and ensure smooth sailing all the way to your destination. Making the necessary arrangements and taking care of your vehicle inspection before you start your engine is a great way to keep car troubles from adding to your stress so you can enjoy your time away from home.