Whether visiting nearby cities or traveling across the nation, a summer road trip can create a lot of fun and memories. Although a lot of effort might go into packing clothing and supplies, it’s just as important to plan ahead for emergencies and to ensure that it’s a safe trip.
Tips to Keep in Mind When Taking a Summer Road Trip
1. Check the tires.
Before venturing out – while the tires are still cool – make sure they are properly inflated. Look them over to check for worn tread, rips, bulges or other irregularities.
2. Check the brakes.
Squeaky wheels or grinding may indicate it’s time for a replacement. Look to see if brake pads are worn.
3. Don’t overload the vehicle.
Avoid taking more than is necessary, since too much cargo can put stress on the tires. It’s also important to verify passenger capacity. An overloaded vehicle can make it difficult to handle.
4. Have an emergency kit.
This should include a spare tire and the necessary tools to change a flat tire. Also have on hand jumper cables, a flashlight and flares/hazard triangles. Purchase or put together a first-aid kit as well.
5. Check the fluids.
In addition to making sure there is plenty of gas, check important fluid levels. This includes brake, oil, power-steering, coolant, transmission and windshield washer fluid. Run the vehicle for several minutes to look for any leaks. Typically, clear non-oily liquid is condensation from the air conditioning unit. Anything else might indicate a problem.
6. Contain the pets.
When taking a family pet along on the trip, find a way to contain it. Loose pets can become a distraction when driving and could cause a driver to lose control. A variety of products are available including pet barriers, harnesses and cages.
7. Eliminate other distractions.
Input information into the GPS ahead of time so you don’t have to do it while driving. Turn the cell phone off or use a hands-free device. Stop at a rest area to eat and drink. The less distractions inside the vehicle, the safer the ride.
Of course, no matter how many precautions we take, some accidents are unavoidable. If you were injured because of a negligent motorist, contact Gacovino, Lake and Associates for legal assistance.