Nothing lets you explore a region quite like a road trip. Whether it's a planned out, cross-country journey, or a spontaneous weekend getaway to Lake Powell, chances are you'll hit the road for a longer-than-average drive sometime this year. Most likely, it'll go off without a hitch and you'll reach your destination without any trouble. But there's always a small chance that something could go wrong. Your car breaks down, the weather turns nasty on the roads, or you get in an accident. While you usually can't avoid these unfortunate occurrences, you can be prepared for them. Here are some tips to help you and your passengers stay safe on your next road trip.
1. Make sure your car is ready to hit the highway.
Get the oil changed if it's due. Check your windshield wipers and the wiper fluid level, and top it off if needed. Keep hearing a clunking sound on your commute? You might want to get it looked at before hitting the road for a long stretch. Clean off your headlights, taillights, signal lights, and windows to make it easier for you to see, and for other drivers to see you. Inspect your tires for any tears or bulges in the side wall, and double check that there's a good amount of tread left on all four tires.
2. Prepare for the worst.
No one likes to think about what can go wrong on the road, but it doesn't hurt to take a lesson from the Boy Scouts and be prepared. Tell someone your destination, route and when you expect to arrive. Keep jumper cables, a jack and flares in your trunk. Make sure your cell phone is charged (and the charger is packed). Check the weather forecast along your route. Pack water, high protein snacks and an emergency kit in an easily accessible location.
3. Stock your emergency kit.
Your emergency kit can have just a few items, or enough to keep you supplied for months. What you put in it is up to you, but at the very least you should have:
First Aid kit
Flashlight and extra batteries
A gallon of water per person
Battery-powered or hand-crank radio
Copies of personal documents
4. Be a smart driver.
When you get behind the wheel be well rested, unimpaired and alert. Wear your seatbelt, observe speed limits and avoid distractions - put the cell phone in the back seat to resist the urge to look at it. Be respectful of other motorists and any construction along your route. If you're taking a long trip, rotate drivers regularly, or make frequent stops to rest or stretch your legs. And please, wear your seatbelt.
For nearly 25 years Burt Brothers Tire and Service has provided the most reliable tires and auto repair throughout Utah. We only employ highly qualified mechanics, and our technicians are ASE-certified. For more information visit http://burtbrothers.com or visit one of our eight Salt Lake area locations.