When you head out on a road trip this spring or summer, you want to care for your car as much as possible. Summer weather can be especially brutal given the high temperatures, massive humidity, and glaring sun. A few Memorial Day road trip safety tips will help keep your car in good repair, and you can repeat this process every time you set off on a new trip, prepare to come home, or feel your car needs a little TLC.
Prepare to Travel
Preparing to travel goes beyond deciding where to go and packing the car. Yes, you should prepare a map of where you are going, set your GPS for that destination, and pack snacks or drinks. Plus, you should you set your phone on a stand or hook that will hold the device as it reads directions to you. If your vehicle integrates with your phone, use the onboard system to display the map and read the directions as needed.
Moreover, you should speak to the people in the vehicle about how often you plan to stop for food, the restroom, to see the sights, etc. While a bit of spontaneity can make life exciting, spontaneous road trips can turn dangerous, especially if you’re making last-minute decisions on the road.
2. Service Your Vehicle
If you are close to the mileage at which you’ll need an oil change, take your car in for service at once. If not, check your wiper blades to ensure they work properly. Test your battery to ensure it is charging and powering the electronics properly. Check your tire pressure. Ensure that your headlights and brake lamps work. Clean the car to ensure you will have an enjoyable experience inside the vehicle, etc.
You want the car to be just as ready for the trip as you are. Plus, regular services ensure that your vehicle remains in top condition, reducing repair costs and the likelihood of significant insurance claims.
3. Avoid Distracted Driving
Do everything you can to avoid distracted driving. Using a hook or stand for your phone helps keep it out of your hands. In lieu of a stand or hook, hand the phone to one of your passengers. Set the phone to Do Not Disturb, and use the Bluetooth or Apple/Android car play feature to keep your hands on the wheel.
Moreover, keep your eyes on the road, and let your passengers take note of things or happenings on the road. Participate in conversations without turning to look at your passengers, keep the radio down so you can hear what’s going on around you, and ask your passengers to hand you food or snacks instead rooting around for what you need.
4. Drive Defensively
Slow down. Use your signals. Keep your eyes peeled. Avoid reckless drivers. Take what comes to you. Stop at stop signs, don’t drive through yellow lights, and look both ways at all junctions—even if you’re certain you have the right of way. Aggressive driving leads to accidents, road rage incidents, and more.
5. Bring a Designated Driver
If you plan on partying and having a good time during your trip, bring a designated driver. Someone in the group needs to be prepared to go dry for a night (or for the entirety of the trip) to ensure everyone’s safety.
If everyone plans to drink on a particular night—you’re not driving the rest of that day. Your group can easily make plans to party, but you should parse out these responsibilities before the trip begins.
Reach Out to the Budde Agency for Assistance With Your Auto Insurance
Do you need assistance or have questions about your auto insurance? Not sure how to properly care for your vehicle? Contact the Budde Agency to speak to our agents so that we can review your current coverage, offer insights, or write a new auto policy.