When you go on a road trip, whether it’s in familiar territory or someplace new, you want to make sure you make some preparations before you hit the road. Many accidents happen within a short distance from home, so even if you are only traveling to the next town you want to be prepared.
Preparing for a road trip is about more than gassing up your car. You, of course, want to do the basic checks that you should be doing yourself on a regular basis anyhow. That means checking your tire pressure, checking fluids, making sure all of your car’s lights work, and ensuring you’ve been getting all the regular maintenance done.
Vehicle Maintenance Is Important
There is more that goes into car maintenance than just getting regular oil changes. You should have taken some time by now to go through your owners manual, where you will find recommendations for when to get things like tune ups done.
You also want to get to know the normal noises and smells of your vehicle. Sometimes a simple change in the way your engine sounds can be a an indication that something is wrong with your car. Sometimes it’s just a normal noise that happens occasionally. Get to know the difference, and get your car in for a check up when it does do something unusual.
Pack A Personal And Roadside Safety Kit
When hitting the road it is important to think about the safety of your vehicle, as well as your own safety. Make sure you have a kit for your vehicle that includes things like a jack, tire iron, jumper cables, and fix-a-flat. These can all come handy in case your break down.
You also want a first aid kit. You never know when someone may get car sick or trip and fall at the rest stop.
Do Some Weather Research
Knowing the weather where you’ll be traveling can save you a lot of trouble. First off, you don’t want inclement weather to ruin your vacation, but you also want to be prepared if you might be driving into a monsoon, tornadoes, or a hurricane. Know how to safely maneuver through these types of situations if your road trip may take you through them.
Know Where You Are Traveling
Everywhere you could possibly drive to has a risk of bad areas, where just driving through could open you up to dangers like carjacking or shootings. Take a little time to get to know the safe areas of the places you’ll be driving. Also know how to stay calm, and always keep your doors locked when you’re driving.
Lastly, follow the laws. There are different laws when it comes to driving in different countries and in different states in the U.S. Pay attention to speed limits, know the laws when it comes to seat belts, and just pay attention. Ignorance of the law is no excuse and won’t get you out of a ticket if you do something illegal.