The thrill of the road beckons. Nothing beats driving down a long stretch of highway enjoying breathtaking views, good tunes and memory-making adventures with your loved ones. Before putting the pedal to the metal, there are a few things travelers can do to prepare for a worry-free and fun family road trip.
When the rubber meets the road, it’s crucial that all drivers ensure they have adequate traction by checking their tires’ tread depth and air pressure. Once that’s done, consider these simple steps recommended by the experts at Les Schwab Tire Centers (www.lesschwab.com) for a safe trip.
1. Even with the most thorough preparation, you may still encounter a setback. Getting back on the road quickly and safely will be your top priority. You can minimize any delay or cost with just two simple steps:
- Check the air pressure of your spare tire—it won’t do you any good to find it’s flat when you need it.
- Call your auto insurance agent to check your coverage—if you break down on the road without the proper tools, you may be able to avoid having to pay out of pocket to get towed.
2. If you’re traveling with young children, it’s especially important to plan ahead in case you get stuck on the road. Whether it’s a short 100-mile trip or a long haul, pay attention to local weather and road condition advisories and plan your route ahead of time.
- For up-to-date travel conditions, go online to see local department of transportation road cams, mileage calculators, scenic byway routes and weather forecasts.
- In case the unexpected happens, pack your trunk with warm clothes, a couple of flashlights, extra food and water, and a few of the family’s favorite games. A roadside safety kit, which should include gloves, jumper cables, essential tools, flares, a first-aid kit and a blanket, will ensure you can handle any detour.
3. If you’re hauling a boat, RV or horse trailer, you’ll need to check up on more than your vehicle’s condition. Most drivers remember to examine their pickup truck’s tires, bearings and brakes before a long haul, but many forget to check those on the trailer.
4. Check to see that the windshield wiper blades are clean and in good working condition, and that there is plenty of wiper fluid. We’ve all been stuck behind a big rig on the road that’s shooting dirt and rocks at the window. You won’t want to run out of wiper fluid when you need it most. Maintaining good visibility is key to staying safe.
Again, before embarking on an extended trip, check with your auto insurance agent to be sure you know what’s included in your coverage.