Preparing for Trips in Your Vehicle

It is important to prepare both yourself and your vehicle for summer trips. Failure to do so could result in costly repairs, additional stress, and could injure or kill you.

Get Plenty of Sleep
One of the most important ways to prepare yourself is to get plenty of sleep. Many times people will stay up late the night before preparing to go and then leave early the next morning. Drifting off to sleep while driving has injured and killed hundreds of motorists and their passengers. If you get tired while driving, stop and take a break. Trying to drive too many miles at a time is not worth the risk of falling asleep behind the wheel. Drinking caffeine drinks, stretching your legs, and walking around will many times wake you up. If it does not, you're too tired to drive and should rest before continuing.

Inspect Your Car
Inspecting your car before starting your trip can help prevent an unexpected breakdown. Check your tire pressure and tread wear. Check all lights, belts, fluids, and windshield wipers. Read your owner's manual about what your dash warning lights indicate and what to do if they come on. Check your spare tire and know how to access your jack and lug wrench. If you have a mobile telephone, know the emergency telephone numbers for the areas you will be traveling through. Write them down and have them with your phone. Some telephones are unable to reach 911 if they are not in their home areas.

Wear Your Seat Belt
Wearing your seat belt is one of the most important safety steps you can take. Make sure all passengers are buckled and small children are in approved child seats. Check seat belts of children to ensure the belts are properly adjusted.

Plan Your Route
By planning your route and preparing yourself and your vehicle, you increase the chances of a memorable experience minus the headaches.