Summer Road Trip

July 12, 2016 12:00 PM

Many of us are planning to hit the road this summer, seeking beaches, mountains, and theme parks. Getting away on a road trip can do more than amuse the kids for a few days; it can renew our spirits and provide much needed stress relief. Before you go, make sure you and your car are ready to travel.

Help ensure the safety and readiness of your vehicle to carry your most precious cargo – your family. Check the tires for proper air pressure and tread depth. Look for signs of uneven wear which could indicate that wheel alignment is needed. Tire problems are magnified at highway speeds where a flat or steering problem could cause a disaster. Check oil and other fluid levels including windshield washer fluid.

Inside your car, have paper maps (suppose there’s no cell signal or you lose your phone) and an emergency medical kit. You can pick up a first aid kit with the basics at most pharmacies. Don’t forget car bingo or some activities for the kids. Even your most ardent video game player can need a diversion on a long road trip. Plan on stopping frequently during the day to let the kids blow off steam and give your muscles a change of pace from sitting.

Finally, remember, distracted driving is one of today’s biggest causes of motor vehicle crashes. There are regulations in most states against driving while texting, checking email, or talking or a cell phone without a hands-free device. But what about driving while eating, or while spilling hot coffee, or even punching a new address into the GPS? Anything that takes our attention away from the world right outside the windshield is a distraction that can cause a crash. Have fun and stay safe this summer on the road.


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