Summer may be over, but there is still plenty of time to take a family road trip. If you’re planning long distance getaway with your family, make sure you’ve got all the essentials covered.
Here are 10 ways to stay safe when traveling by car.
1. Get a Pre-Trip Vehicle Check-Up
Before setting out on your road trip, make sure your vehicle is in tip-top condition. Have you changed the oil lately? Topped off fluids? Checked your brakes and tires? If your car is overdue for maintenance, get it to a service shop before you set out for the road. You don’t want to wind up stranded on a Texas desert highway.
2. Pack an Emergency Kit
The thought that something might go wrong is an uncomfortable one. Nobody likes thinking about being stranded. But, if you encounter an emergency (e.g. a flat tire), you’ll be thankful you thought and planned ahead. Make sure you’ve got a working jack, tire iron, an inflated spare tire, and extra oil.
Your emergency kit should also include some bottled water (for drinking and/or topping off a hot engine). Make sure you’ve got an extra phone charger or external battery charger for your phone as well!
3. Choose Weight-Appropriate, Working Safety Seats & Belts
Check that your car seats, boosters, and safety belts are the right size for your kids. Don’t go just by age recommendations. The seats should be chosen based on the height and weight of your children.
4. Don’t Overpack
Keep a clear line of vision throughout your vehicle. If a large suitcase is in your blind spot or blocking your rearview mirror, this could cause major trouble on the road!
5. Connect Your Hands-Free Devices
Get off your phone! Leave your mobile in the back of the ‘mobile. If you need to be connected, make sure your car supports hands-free calling, so you can keep your eyes on the road at all times.
6. Pre-Select Music or Videos
Again—get off your phone! Don’t scroll through your playlists while on the road. Pre-select your road trip music and set everything up before you hit the road. If your kids want to watch movies in the backseat, get it set up before you leave, so you don’t need to stop unexpectedly.
7. Pack Convenient Snacks & Beverages
Traveling with a family, you’re going to need snacks. Pack solid, convenient fruits (like grapes and apple slices) that are easy to handle and won’t get mushed into your vehicle’s carpet. Choose beverages with tight lids and straws for easy, spill-proof drinking.
8. Designate Bathroom Stops
It’s better to pull over for a bathroom break before it’s too late for young family members. Check stops along your route and plan a break every couple of hours.
9. Research Your Travel Route
Have you checked for any construction, accidents, or backed-up traffic on your route? Make sure you give yourself time to make an alternate plan if necessary. Download a free road trip app and have someone else in the car be the navigator. Bring an up-to-date map with you, just in case technology fails.
10. Rotate Drivers, Take Breaks & Drive Safely!
The last tip is the most important: drive safely! If you have more than one qualified driver in the car, make sure to rotate on a schedule, so no one gets tired. If you’re a solo driver, make sure to take breaks accordingly, hydrate properly, and never drive while tired.
Get your car in-shape and packed-up with all the essentials before traveling with your family this summer. If you need a tune-up before the holiday weekend, contact Colony One Automotive for all your maintenance needs! Call, stop by, or request a service today.