Though summer is nearing its end, many people are looking to cram in that last-minute road trip. Everyone is different when it comes to preparation: what foods to bring, what music to listen to, or who’s doing most of the driving. Regardless, safe traveling is ultimately paramount when prepping for any trip short or long. You may be driving into a state in which you have never been before, so get familiar with your route ahead of time, grab your friends or family, and hit the road to capitalize on the end of summer!
Here are some driving tips that we hope you will find useful:
- Before taking a long road trip, make sure you have had plenty of sleep and something to eat before heading out. Though you would think coffee or energy drinks will help you, ultimately, they will initially perk you up, then you will be sleepy again.
- Pull over frequently and share driving responsibilities. If you pull over frequently to stretch your legs, grab a bite to eat, and get some fresh air, you will be much more alert while driving. When planning your trip ahead of time, try to divide driving times evenly. This allows you to nap while another person is driving, or simply keep an eye on them.
- Know the laws of the states in which you will be traveling. Police officers typically do not accept ignorance as an excuse, so be sure to hone up on different state laws before it is too late!
- Never drink alcohol before a trip. Although you may not be intoxicated after one drink, the alcohol and sugar from the drink will make you sleepy. This is the MOST important item on this list and is pretty much self-explanatory.
- Be sure to familiarize yourself with your location. Sure, GPS devices are a great way to navigate your routes, but they often get travelers lost. Bring along road maps for the areas along the way to your destination; believe it or not, road maps are fun to use!
- Check the weather along your planned trip before heading out. Just because it’s not raining here in Fort Wayne, doesn’t mean you won’t run into a nasty storm along the way. Preparation is KEY!
- Try not to use your cruise-control at night. You may be saving a fraction of fuel, but ultimately managing your speed will keep you more alert while driving at night.
- Have a small cooler packed. This will minimize the amount of stops you’ll have to make. Also, it will save you money for the rest of your trip.
- Make sure everyone wears their seat belt. Though another obvious recommendation, this is also highly important. It will also prevent you/your passengers from receiving a ticket!
Along with these helpful driving tips, you also need to make sure that your vehicle is up for the journey. Here are some helpful car care tips to help ensure safe travels on your end of summer road trip.
- Check both the level and condition of the car’s motor oil. Consult the owner’s manual for the recommended oil change interval and suggested grade of oil.
- Make sure the battery terminals and cables are securely attached and free of corrosion.
- Check the antifreeze/coolant level and top off with a 50/50 mix of antifreeze and water if needed. Do not remove the radiator pressure cap when the engine is hot.
- Check your tire(s) air pressure and look for damage, bulges, and excessive or uneven tread wear.
- Make sure your wipers can keep your windshield clean and streak-free.
- Check headlights, brake lights, and turn signals. Keep all lights clear of dirt, especially headlights. And always make sure to use your headlights so others see your vehicle more easily.
- Include and/or restock your Emergency Kit. This should include water, non-perishable food items, jumper cables, a flashlight with extra batteries, road flares or an emergency beacon, basic hand tools, and a first aid kit.
We hope that you if you are planning an end of summer road trip that you have safe travels & a great time with your friends and family! Remember to always be safe & alert as well as follow local county and state laws.
Big City Cars is located at 4910 Lima Road, just down from Costco. Or give us a call today at (260) 212-1111. We look forward to helping you get into a quality preowned vehicle that fits your lifestyle & budget.