Summertime is almost synonymous with summer vacation. If you’re planning a getaway this summer that involves driving, follow these tips to keep you, your family and your vehicle safe.
Before hitting the road
Before you load up the car, there are a few things you should do to make sure your vehicle remains on the road during your trip. First, log on to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website to search your VIN number to see if any recalls have been listed for your vehicle.
Similarly, it’s a great idea to have your regular mechanic give your car a once-over. It wouldn’t make for a very fun trip to be stuck on the side of the road, would it? Make sure they check your tire pressure, fluid levels and air filter. There are all quick fixes that can go a long way to making sure you have a great trip.
Even the shortest of driving trips can be hard if you’re tired. Make sure to get a good night’s sleep before you hit the road to avoid falling asleep at the wheel. Caffeine can only do so much. As you plan your trip, also make sure to include plenty of bathroom breaks and stretch stops.
Another way to help yourself stay alert is to stock your car with music, audiobooks or podcasts that are interesting to you. Content that keeps you engaged and keeps your eyes on the road can help keep you awake and alert.
And it goes without saying, make sure your phone is stowed away and you make use of hands-free technology if you need to make calls or texts. No phone call is worth risking your life.
Know your limitations
Don’t let your exciting trip get in the way of safe choices. You know yourself better than anyone else. If you have trouble driving at night, make sure to plan your trip as to avoid driving after the sun goes down. If you know you need regular stops to move your legs, make sure to plan a route where there are plenty of rest stops.
Whether you’re headed to the beach, driving to visit family or meeting up with friends for a long weekend, use common sense as you plan your trip. A little thought ahead of time can prevent a big headache on the road