Summer means pool parties, bonfires, ice cream, and, of course, road trips. Whether you’re taking the family camping, going away for a couple’s weekend, or going on vacation, road trips can be a fun experience. And while you may not be driving to the 597 square miles of Oahu, it’s important to make sure your vehicle is ready for the trip, no matter how far it is. So if you’re planning on taking a road trip this summer, here is a simple safety checklist to keep in mind.
If your tires are over-inflated or under-inflated, this can be a big problem. Tires without the proper pressure are more susceptible to blowing out or becoming damaged, which is not ideal when you’re on the road for a long time. So before you head out, make sure you test your tire pressure and continue to do so throughout the road trip. If you notice your tires are getting low, make sure to add air and as needed.
Brakes are essential for all vehicles but unfortunately, they often go left unchecked. When you’re on the road for a long time, you want to make sure your brakes are working properly. So before you leave, check your brakes — the pads shouldn’t be worn down and your brake lines should be clean. If needed, take your car to a mechanic and have your brakes checked, bled, or replaced to ensure they’re in good working condition.
All vehicles have a maximum weight capacity and this is in place for a reason. While you’re sure to have plenty of things you need to bring, it’s important to keep your car’s weight capacity in mind. This is especially true if you’re towing something, like a trailer or a boat. When you’re driving, being over the weight capacity can cause damage to your vehicle, lead to poor gas mileage, and be dangerous overall. While stainless steel pipes can last for over 100 years, steel and metal parts of your vehicle can become damaged if you overload your car. Consider also that a steel shipping container might hold 3,500 shoe boxes, but your car likely can’t. So keep your packing to a minimum and ensure you’re not going over your vehicle’s weight capacity.
While Americans drive an average of 29.2 miles every day, road trips tend to be a lot longer than that. Which is why it’s important to be prepared with an emergency kit, especially since on average, there’s a rear-end collision on U.S. roads every eight seconds. If your car breaks down or you need to stop unexpectedly, you should have the right supplies with you. So when you’re packing for your trip, put together an emergency kit with items like water bottles, non-perishable foods, blankets, flashlights, road flares, extra phone chargers, and a first aid kit. This way, you’ll be prepared for anything that could happen along the way.
Roadtrips can be a great experience and can lead to memories that will last forever. And by keeping this simple checklist in mind, you’re sure to be prepared for the trip and have your vehicle in good working condition.