Long road trips almost always result in memorable experiences and they can be a great way to escape the stress and mundanity of everyday life in your hometown. However, many motorists are in such a rush to embark on their journey that they forget to take key precautions and preparations beforehand. Making such a mistake in haste can leave you in a less-than-ideal scenario and tarnish the overall enjoyment of your trip. To make sure you have the safest trip possible, be sure to use the following five-point checklist as a general guide to pre-trip safety measures:
1. Address Indicator Lights
First and foremost, if you have any indicator lights lit up in your dashboard then you’ll want to take care of that before you start piling more miles onto your odometer. While the more drastic warning lights like the Check Engine or Check Oil lights tend to incite concern and immediate action, many vehicle owners choose to ignore other indicator lights like the SRS light. If you’re wondering “what is SRS in a car,” it stands for Supplemental Restraint System, which is basically a fancy term for your airbags. Of course, due to the increased risk of getting in an accident during a long trip, you never want to depart with faulty airbags.
2. Check Tires, Brakes, and Fluids
Use a pressure gauge to make sure your tires are at the manufacturers’ recommended PSI spec. Likewise, be sure to conduct a simple brake check and check/top up all fluid levels to protect your vehicle from unnecessary damage.
3. Pack a First Aid Kit and Safety Supplies
It’s always good to be prepared for any sudden emergencies or injuries that you might incur during the course of a road trip. Assemble a basic first aid kit and bring items that will help you in the event you become stranded. Things to bring along include backup water and food supplies, a high-powered flashlight, a multi-purpose hand tool like a Swiss army knife, backup batteries for all of your devices, and a vehicle battery jump box.
4. Thoroughly Plan Rest Stops and Breaks
Driving while tired is one of the biggest dangers motorists face while taking a long road trip due to the temptation to squeeze in “a few more miles before resting.” To avoid putting yourself in a position to get tired, be sure to meticulously plan your break and rest schedule, choosing ideal rest stops and attractions that you can stop at along the way to rejuvenate, before getting back on the open road.
5. Handle Home Security
Finally, now that you’ve taken care of your vehicle and personal safety needs, don’t forget to equip your home with a remote surveillance system so you can check up on your abode while you’re away.
Preparing for a Safe and Enjoyable Trip
In closing, all of the above steps will ensure you’re not caught off-guard during the duration of your trip. Since completing this checklist will only take a few minutes, it makes sense for every driver to go over these simple points before setting off for an extended road trip.