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Safety Checklist for Your Summer Road Trip

Road trips are the quintessential family vacation. No matter where you're headed this summer, make sure your car is tuned up and properly stocked for summer vacation safety. Here are the items you should check off your list before you hit the road.

Top Off the Oil

An ample supply of the proper type of oil is imperative for smooth sailing on your summer road trip, so check the oil level and refill it if necessary. If you're coming up on the recommended mileage to have an oil change, take your car to a qualified mechanic to have the task performed for summer vacation safety.

Get a Tune Up

While your car is at the shop, ask to have your brakes, belts, air conditioner, tires and fluids checked. A quick tune up could catch a developing problem and prevent you from becoming stranded on your road trip.

Replace Your Cracked Windshield

If you have a small nick in your windshield, have it patched up as soon as possible to prevent a crack. If it's too late and a crack has already formed, replace the windshield before your big trip to prevent impairing your vision and improve summer vacation safety if you get into a rollover accident.

Test the Tire Pressure

Under or over-inflated tires create a safety issue and drive your gas mileage down, so immediately before your trip begins, test the tire pressure to ensure each one is inflated properly. Test the tires again each time you stop for gas, realizing that hot tires may give a higher pressure reading than cold tires.

Wear Sunscreen and Sunglasses

You may be planning to wear sunscreen during your outdoor adventures, but did you know it's possible to be sunburned through the car windows? For this reason, along with wearing sunglasses to reduce glare, each family member should slather on sunscreen right as the road trip begins.

Pack a Survival Kit

Even with your precautionary pre-road-trip tune up, you never know if your car could still break down. Plan for the worst by packing a survival kit complete with:

  • Water bottles
  • Non-perishable snacks
  • First aid kit
  • Flashlight and spare batteries
  • Jumper cables
  • Flares
  • Tools to change a tire
  • Cell phone, charger and spare battery or "juice" pack

Get a Good Night's Sleep

You're undoubtedly excited for your road trip, but try to get to bed a little early the night before the big day. Driving drowsy contributes to 100,000 accidents in the US each year, so pull over to rest or switch with another adult driver when you start to feel tired.

Manage Interior Temperatures

While privacy is a concern you can remedy by tinting the car windows, this upgrade also makes your car more comfortable on a summer drive and prevents the interior from heating up as fast when you park the car outside. Still, you should always cover car safety seats with a blanket to prevent the buckles from overheating and burning your child's skin.

Don't Exceed Your Vehicle's Weight Capacity

Check your owner's manual for the maximum payload capacity and keep this number in mind as you load suitcases and people into the car. Keep the towing capacity in mind as well if you plan to tow anything.

Tie Down Heavy Objects

You never know when you might need to slam on the brakes. To prevent suitcases, strollers and other items from becoming dangerous projectiles, batten them down with bungee cords or rope.

For more summer vacation safety tips, or to have your windshield repaired or replaced prior to your upcoming trip, please contact Glass Doctor® today.