Road Trip Safety: Expert tips from CarHelp.com
One of the keys to pulling off a safe mega-trip like our 47-day road trip is thinking ahead about maintenance. Before we left home we had the truck serviced and did some preventative maintenance. Here in Seattle, about half-way through the trip, we’re stopping to double check that all is well before we continue the rest of the trip. We’ll travel about 10,000 miles this trip (way up from our estimate of 6,000 miles!) and most of that driving is through the mountains pulling the trailer. We want to make sure we’re having a great time, not looking for a repair shop unexpectedly.
Our sponsor for the trip, CarHelp.com, helps car owners find reputable and competent mechanics. Usually, that’s in a town where you live, but here on the road it works too. We asked the experts at CarHelp.com for some other tips for road trips and getting your car ready. Here’s what they had to say:
Parents often put so much planning intro providing for their children on their road trip, they forget to make sure their car is in good shape, too. You don’t want your vacation to be ruined because you weren’t prepared for a punctured tire or a stalled vehicle. Start getting your vehicle prepared for your summer road trip just as early as you begin planning everything else so that your summer vacation road trip goes off without a hitch.
Here are some car maintenance tips that will help make your summer road trip a success:
- Get your car into the shop – getting a mechanic to check out the health of your car before you head out on your long drive will give you the confidence that your family will remain safe. Schedule your appointment about 2 weeks before you’re planning your road trip in order to allow time for any necessary repairs. Once they’re complete, this will also allow you some time to drive around at home in order to make sure your vehicle is in proper working order. Remember, if you don’t currently have a favorite mechanic to check out the list of authorized shops on carhelp.com.
- Travel with the equipment you need to address a car break down – pack jumper cables, emergency flares, motor oil, transmission fluid, pliers, and a screw driver. If there is not already a spare tire and jack in your car, make sure you travel with those too and know how to use them.
- Prepare an emergency kit – even with the best advanced preparation, there is still a chance that you could find yourself waiting for a tow truck on the side of the road. Think about what other items you may need should this occur and pack them in a separate bag from your summer vacation items. Bottled water, weather appropriate clothing (sweaters and raincoats for the whole family) in case you need to wait outside of the car, food, and a flashlight are a few items you should include.
For more about getting your car ready for a long road trip, here’s a great list from supergreencar.com. Happy driving!