No matter what the reason for taking a long road trip, safety is the most important element. Aside from defensive and concentrated driving, a well maintained vehicle is the most important thing you can do to ensure a safe and successful road trip. It’s imperative that you know how and when to maintain all the systems of your vehicle before hitting the road.
Check Your Lights and Electrical Systems
Before embarking, be sure to check your headlights and indicator lights along with all other electronics. To check your brake lights, it may be necessary to find a partner to help you. Replace any burnt out bulbs or fuses. If your headlights or taillights are dirty, be sure to clean them so they’re operating at their maximum brightness. The health of your battery should also be checked.
Check Your Brakes, Steering and Suspension Components
The only thing more important than your vehicle being able to go is that it is able to be stopped and steered. Take your vehicle for test drives and pay close attention to how your braking and steering feels. If you notice anything wrong, be sure to take care of it before you leave on your road trip. If you are unable to make these repairs yourself, take your vehicle to a certified mechanic.
Check Your Tires
The health of your vehicle’s tires is of the utmost importance. Blowouts can be catastrophic and highly dangerous. Check and maintain the proper pressure in your tires. If you aren’t sure how to do this, you should learn before you go. Every driver should know how to perform this simple and essential maintenance. The wear level of your vehicle’s tires must also be checked before embarking. Any over-worn tires should be replaced before your trip.
Check Your Tools
Be sure to check that you have all the essential emergency tools for your vehicle. These will include a jack, wrenches, and jumper cables. Also a flare and emergency blanket are great ideas. These can save you on the roadside.
Hitting the Road
A well maintained vehicle will go a long way towards ensuring a safe, enjoyable road trip. A pictorial checklist is available here to help. If you do encounter any misfortune you should consider contacting a car accident attorney. Safe travels and good luck!