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Road Trip and Traveling Safety for the Entire Family   


Are you packing the car for a road trip with your friends or with your family?  Usually our vehicles do not make much of a trip other than to work and to home, with the occasional outing once in a while.  If you are looking on driving three or more hours from home, you should do a once over safety inspection of your vehicle.  While you may not be able to catch all of the potential problems with a vehicle when doing a safety inspection of the vehicle, you can catch problems that could be costly after you get so far away from home. 

As you are preparing to leave for your trip you should pop the hood on your vehicle and take a look at a few items, which include the following:  Take a look at the belts you can see.  Most likely the belts you will be able to see are the alternator and the air conditioning belts if you car has these.  If they look good – ok, it they are frayed and looking worn and cracked you may want to consider having them replaced before you get on your way.  Another item you should be looking at is how much washer fluid is in your car, for when you are traveling along the highway and you need to wash your windows. 

If your car has an air filter that you can inspect, (it would be under the big metal lid looking thing in the middle of the engine that comes off with just a twist of a screw with your fingers) think back to when was the last time that you replaced it?  This inexpensive item saves you money on gas and performance of the vehicle when it is clean or at least newer.  

Before you leave on a long trip, you should always change the oil in the car, and the oil filter while you are at it.  If you don’t know how to do this there are many gas stations that will change your oil for about twice the price of what you can do it for yourself. 

While you are under the hood, take a look at your battery, how old is it?  You don’t want to be stranded in the ‘middle of no where’ when your battery fails.  A good battery will last any where from seven to ten years.  Another, safety feature that you should look at while you are in the front of the car is to make sure all your lights work and the turn signals as well.  These are very inexpensive items that you can change yourself, but they will ensure your safety when traveling.  

A few other things that you might want to check before you get packed and ready to leave on your trip is that your tires have the proper amount of air pressure in them, and that the tread is still usable.  Treads on your tires that are barely visible are called ‘bald’ tires and can be dangerous when driving in any type of weather.  

So that you can see in the snow and in the rain, make sure your wiper blades look good.  Do they work?  Are there pieces missing?  If you find a piece is missing or they look as if they are ‘falling apart’ you should replace these so you can drive safely in the rain.  

If you are traveling in the winter months, make sure you keep your emergency supply kit in the truck in case you would happen to break down or need assistance when traveling. 



Also see

  Safety Issues for Cars & Drivers  

Driving Safely – Five Safety Tips Most Forgotten -5 great tips to keep you and your family safe in your car, truck, or SUV.

Everything You Need to Know about Winter Driving -Some excellent ideas for keep safe on the roads during the treacherous winter season.

Important Tips about Child Restraint Seats- NHTSA requires new LATCH system. Learn more....

Most Common Car Accidents and How to Avoid Them -What causes accidents?  Drinking?  Jabbering on that cell phone?


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