Planning a spring road trip? As the weather heats up, many families will be hitting the road for some fun-filled adventures. One essential part of getting ready for any road trip is to make sure that your vehicle is prepared. Follow our helpful checklist to see what steps you should take to ensure your family’s safety before you leave.
- Check the tires, brakes and fluids
Now matter where your travel plans take you, AAA recommends getting a full safety check of your tires, brakes and fluids before you leave. This is the perfect time to get that oil change you’ve been putting off and to address any concerns with squeaky brakes or clogged air filters. If you are switching out snow tires for regular tires, have the technician inspect them for signs of wear and tear and make sure they are properly inflated before you hit the road. Starting a trip with tires that are in good condition can help prevent accidents and flats.
- Pack an emergency kit
It’s every parent’s nightmare: being stranded on the side of the road with tired, hungry or just plain bored kids while you wait for a tow truck. Since you never know how long it may take for help to arrive, it’s a good idea to be prepared with an emergency kit that includes food, extra clothing, a roadside first aid kit and some extra books and games to help keep little ones occupied. Packing an extra battery pack and charger for your phone is also a smart move just in case you’re stuck for an extended period of time.
- Be prepared for wet roads
Yes, the snow may have melted, but the spring months can bring all sorts of wet weather that can result in dangerous driving conditions. Be smart when driving on slick roads by slowing down, increasing your following distance and being aware of quickly changing conditions. You never know when a spring storm will hit, and even a small amount of water on the road can get incredibly slippery when mixed with oil and grease.
- Protect your Passengers
The National Highway Transportation Administration (NHTSA) recommends taking steps to protect your passengers before a trip by ensuring that all seatbelts are working correctly and that car seats and boosters are properly installed. Make sure that your child is using the right car seat and keep all passengers 13 years old and younger in the back seat to reduce the chances of injury in an accident. For more information on choosing and securing a car seat, check out our post on Car Seat Safety.
- Check for vehicle recalls
Your car may be involved in a safety recall that you may not even know about. To find out for sure, the NHTSA has a free VIN look-up tool that makes it easy to see the last 15 years of vehicle recalls for all cars. This includes airbag recalls and other safety equipment recalls that could put your family at risk if not repaired.
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