Summer has arrived in the U.S., which means that high school graduates will be taking one last trip before heading to college, families will be using up vacation time, and people of all ages will be crossing off places on their vacation bucket list. What better way to enjoy all this? With a classic road trip.
Before you pack up the car or hand over the keys to your young driver, as they venture out on their first solo trip, here are few things to consider for your safety and peace of mind.
Get A Tune Up On Your Car
It may seem like a no-brainer to check the oil and add some air to the tires before you set out on an all-day excursion, but you may be surprised how many people forget to have a tune-up on their car before they head cross country.
Not only should you get the oil changed and the fluids topped off, but it’s not a bad idea to see if there are any recalls on your car (as there seem to be many these days). If you have just purchased a vehicle for your soon-to-be college student, don’t forget to run the VIN to get a history on the car.
A car with multiple recalls and a sketchy past might be just a few signs that your car is a lemon and no one wants to get stranded in the middle of a road trip with a lemon of a vehicle.
The best road trips may be all about spontaneity, but the worst ones are due to poor planning. With various apps right at our fingertips, there’s no excuse for getting lost or running into road construction that sends you on an hour-long detour.
Before you set out on the road, make sure all your map apps are up-to-date and check out various routes, just in case you need a plan B (or C). It’s not a bad idea to stash a fold-up paper map in your glovebox because you never know if your technology may fail you.
Create A Plan If You Drink
For many travelers, vacationing is all about enjoying a cold beer or a refreshing margarita with lunch or dinner. While your drink may be well-deserved, make a plan if you plan on drinking alcohol while you’re on the road.
Whether you designate a sober driver or plan on stopping for the night and camping out or staying in a hotel, don’t get behind the wheel (regardless of how many drinks you have).
Drunk driving is a dangerous, expensive, irresponsible, and potentially fatal decision that takes thousands of lives every year; don’t ruin your road trip because you decided to drive while intoxicated.
Ditch Your Distractions
A road trip is all about connecting as a family and disconnecting from your busy life. While you might not be able to pry your kids away from their devices, make sure that you put yours away while you’re behind the wheel.
Despite the strict laws that are in place to deter people from texting or talking while driving, people still take the risk of using their device behind the wheel.
Even if you’re on an open stretch of highway and don’t see any other motorists around you, don’t send a text or do a quick Google search while you’re driving. You could swerve off the road or hit an animal; it’s definitely not worth the risk.