Summer’s on its way, and everyone will soon be hitting the road in search of some fun in the sun across the U.S. This is a time when people embark on traveling ventures of all kinds. Some will be on cross-country trips to see the great outdoors, while others are just taking a few hours to drive to the nearest metropolitan or tourist hot spot. Either way, there are several crucial safety steps to keep in mind as you take your car out for a spin during the most active time of year. Among them are some critical safety precautions.
1. Plan Your Trip in Advance
Regardless of if your trip is going to be short or long, you’ll need to look ahead on your route to determine whether there will be any of the following:
- Hazardous road conditions
- Inclement weather
- Dangerous traffic conditions
These are all factors that may derail your travels, so it is essential that you verify that they will not stand in your way. Planning ahead will allow you to circumvent traffic or environmental hazards and barriers by selecting alternate routes or giving yourself an extra few hours to reach your destination.
2. Prepare Snacks and Water for Your Car
Heat stroke is a constant danger during the summer, even when you’re under the protection of your car’s roof. Keep a bottle of water in your car and even a snack or two, as this will help to keep yourself hydrated and maintain your electrolytes. These small steps will prevent you from getting sick from the heat during your travels.
3. Have Your Car Serviced Before Your Trip
Never set out for a long trip without first having your car seen by a mechanic. Neglecting to take this step is a recipe for disaster! Driving your commute to work requires drastically less exertion from your vehicle than a long-distance trip would. So, even if your trip is only a few hours long, verify that it is ready to be pushed harder than usual by having it seen by a mechanic.
At the shop, it is recommended that you have a mechanic verify that the following aspects are in top condition:
- Oil and other fluid levels
- Windshield wipers
- Car horn
- Tire inflation (confirm that you have a spare tire as well)
4. Drive Defensively
Not everyone on the road will be driving with the same attention to detail and the level of care that you will be. For this reason, it is critical that you drive defensively. This means that you must take the utmost care to avoid all distractions and keep yourself fully awake and alert behind the wheel.
For this, you and all your passengers (even pets) must buckle up, and you should avoid using your phone or another mobile device for any reason. If you wish to have music while you drive, turn on a long playlist or album at the start of your trip, so you don’t have to fiddle with the controls as you drive.
When you’re ready to set out on your summer adventures, review this checklist to make sure you’re behaving as safely and responsibly as possible, even when you’re having fun.