With the chance to enjoy the picturesque highways, enchanted national and state parks, cool small towns and medium-sized cities, the “big road trip” is one of the favorite rituals of the warm season.
You are ready? Not so fast. More than 60 percent of families go on vacation, and it is estimated that four out of 10 drivers are not ready for breakdowns.
The main causes of road emergencies are quite predictable: Are you one of two-thirds of drivers who do not check their car batteries? Are you one of the five who have no idea how to change a tire? Are you one of four out of 10 who do not have an emergency kit on board? Here’s how to make the next trip go smoothly.
1. Check your machine
Schedule a maintenance check before you travel. Check oil, fluid, battery and tire levels. Make sure there is air in the spare tire. Sure, that seems obvious, but chances are you haven’t done it yet, right?
2. Carry an emergency kit with you
Auto science is not rocket science: pack a mobile phone and a charger that can be connected to your car, a flashlight (with fresh batteries and spare batteries), a first aid kit, a basic set of tools (including a pressure gauge and an adjustable wrench), wiper fluid, jumper cables, emergency flashes or reflectors, drinking water and snacks for people and pets. Collecting an emergency kit can seem like a hassle. You know what’s even more hassle? Being stuck on the side of the road, having nothing on this list.
3. Do not lock
Take extra car keys with you, take a minute to grab the keys before getting out of the car, and check the batteries on the remote controls and smart keys with key protection and protect them from water and other hazards. Some drivers believe that constant habits of car keys (you can even call them rituals) help them keep track of the keys. For example: Always keep the keys in one place, say the word “keys” aloud before leaving, and change the batteries on the consoles at the beginning and end of daylight saving time.
4. Check your insurance
Check your car insurance to make sure you have a printed copy of your policy and whether it is still valid. No one wants to get into an accident away from home without proper insurance.