Road Tripping Safely in the Summer

May 19th, 2013 by

Ah, the big summer road trip. Something I look forward to all year long. Whether you’re a young couple driving cross country to visit friends on the west coast, or a young family just crossing the state to visit grandma and grandpa, there are some important safety considerations to follow to make sure that you get there in one piece.

Tips for Staying Safe on a Long Road Trip

Here are a few tips for avoiding road-side trouble and managing it if there happens to be an emergency:

  • Take Your Car in for Service Before the Trip: check your vehicle’s manual to make sure that you haven’t missed any oil changes, transmission flushes, wheel alignments, or other services. A road trip puts big wear on your vehicle, and any missed service will compound this. Schedule a service appointment at Silko Honda before you head out on the road.
  • Bring plenty of water: it’s surprising how quickly you can get dehydrated in a vehicle, especially if you’re driving with lots of caffeine in your system or without the air conditioning. It’s important to make sure that kids are drinking plenty of water, too. While the temptation is to deprive them of as much fluids as possible to minimize bathroom stops, they might not be as vocal or aware about getting dehydrated. Plus if the car breaks down and you need to walk, extra water could be a life saver.
  • Have a cell phone charger you can use in your car: the last place you want to be is stuck in an emergency with a dead phone. An extra charger you plug into one of your vehicle’s outlets is well worth the investment.
  • Learn how to change a flat: anyone who’s sharing in the driving responsibility should learn how to change out a flat tire on the vehicle. It could mean the difference between getting back on the road quickly or waiting an hour for help and then having to pay the tow fee.
  • Buy a map or an atlas: having smart phones and navigation systems are fantastic tools. Having a backup in case they die is important, though. Maps and atlases are relatively inexpensive and can be picked up at most gas stations. They also make surprisingly good reading material for curious children.
  • Pack an emergency kit:
    • Blankets (even though summer is warm, nights can still get chilly)
    • A reflective safety triangle or flares
    • A flashlight with extra batteries
    • A multi-tool with a pliers and a sharp blade
    • Strong rope and duct tape (you wouldn’t believe the wide range of uses these two have)