Fall is well on its way, and leaf-peeping season is a great reason to get out on the opened road. Traveling creates some excellent memories and experiences, but safety should always be your first concern.
If your family is among your travel party, it’s even more important that you take the necessary steps to prepare your vehicle and your mind for a safe journey. Here is a quick overview of some steps you can take to secure your adventure and safety.
Make certain your vehicle is up to par
Before you take your vehicle on a long drive, it makes sense to check a few vital things above and below the hood. Run down this short checklist to assure a sound ride.
- Check your oil.
- Check the coolant.
- Check the brake fluid.
- Check transmission fluid.
- Check your tire pressure.
- Click here for more checkpoints.
Make sure you have the proper paperwork
There are always risks involved in driving long distances, and it’s important that you have all the proper legal documentation on hand. If you get pulled over for speeding, you’ll need your license, registration, and proof of car insurance.
Though your chances of being involved in an accident are lower than some may think, it’s a good idea to have a plan of action. Thousands of 18-wheelers hit the roads every year, and should you be involved in a truck accident, it helps to know what to do first.
Prepare the interior for children
The interior of your vehicle will be your home away from home on a long road trip, so it’s important to be vigilant. If you have small children who will be traveling with you, you need to make certain that their car seats are properly installed.
Proper restraints for your kids can save their lives, so don’t skip this step before your big road trip. A large percentage of parents think that they’ve installed their child restraints properly, but they’re wrong. Have a professional check your installation before hitting the road.
Bring along useful navigation tools
Though map-reading skills may be slowly fading among young people, it’s always good to have a paper map in the car. Modern drivers should equip the best of navigation tools (aka your smartphone’s Maps app), and make sure all charging cords are packed.
Prepare your body for a long drive
Sitting in the driver’s seat for hours can be a lot more exhausting than some people may anticipate. Prepare yourself for the long drive by getting plenty of sleep the night before you depart.
While you’re on your trip, make sure to keep hydrated. Stop to use the restroom regularly, and don’t skip meals. You still need to eat, even if you’re not doing much.