On this week’s episode of Overdrive Radio, we talked about what you need for safe road trips this holiday season. The biggest takeaway is NOT to leave your preparations for the last minute. It’s so easy to get sucked into the physical preparations of your holiday road trip that the car can be forgotten.
Where do you begin?
GET THAT CAR CHECKED -
Go to a reputable auto repair shop to have them do a full vehicle inspection or tune up. It’s always better to make sure your car is in good condition than to find yourself on the side of the road.
Here are some of the basics that should be in the Pre-Trip Inspection:
Check Oils & Fluids – make sure they are “topped off”
Windshield Wiper Fluid (for the abundant bug splatter on the highway!)
Check the Wiper Blades
Check Brakes/ Braking System (Brake pads, Rotors)
Tires – (and this includes the spare tire!) – Make sure it has good air pressure, good tread and no nails
Battery – It’s important to check it has adequate battery life
Shocks, Struts & Springs – It’s important to make sure that your suspension is in good condition for the road due to the different road conditions/terrain you encounter while traveling.
Now it’s time to pack the car suitcase
Every car needs a “car suitcase” when you travel. You don’t have to put these items in an actual suitcase (or you could!) but you need to keep them easily accessible just like you would hurricane essentials.
First up is the crucial stuff:
License and registration
A copy of your car insurance card
Spare tire (this item will have been checked for safety at your Pre-Trip Inspection)
Jumper cables or jump box (Make sure the jump box is fully charged and you have a portable charge with you as well)
Basic tool kit (with basic screwdrivers like a Phillips and Flat Head)
Flashlight – Even though our cell phones have a built in flashlight, you really should have a handheld flashlight just in case your cell battery dies.
Compact dry-chemical fire extinguisher – Here’s hoping you don’t need it, but it’s a great item to have in the event of a minor car fire.
Next are the comfort items:
Extra phone charger
First aid kit
Blankets and pillows
Reusable water bottle(s)
Tylenol or Ibuprofen
Okay, the vehicle has been checked at a reputable auto repair shop and you have packed your “car suitcase”. What is next?
Stay fueled up! You never know how long it might be to the next gas station when you are on long stretches of roads
Listen to local radio stations to get updates on traffic and accidents
Once you are on the road, keep an eye on the road conditions and traffic signs. Great apps include Google Maps and Waze
Keep an eye on the weather forecast
Check out the traffic and roadwork you might encounter along the route
Take a roadmap or print a route map from Google Maps, MapQuest, etc.
Good music or podcast cued up for the trip
Lots of videos, games and snacks for the kiddos (and even the adults)
Taking items of value? Keep them in your trunk
Give Universal Tire & Auto a call at (407) 636-4033 to schedule your Pre-Trip Inspection.
Listen to us each week at Overdrive Radio on 105.5 FM 606 AM Saturdays at Noon on Florida Man Radio. Straight talk about cars and a little bit more.