If you are driving out of town this Thanksgiving or Christmas to visit relatives or friends here are some things to keep in mind before you head out.
1. Prep your vehicle- You should always check your fluids before any road trip you take. Check your oil, transmission fluid, washer fluid, brake fluid, and antifreeze level. Having any one of these low or dirty could hinder your trip and some of them could even cause a break down. If you are planning on driving over winter passes or anywhere you might find snow, you should use a winterized washer fluid. This kind does not freeze as easily as the regular blue kind allowing for you to use it more often and have better visibility.
Also check your belts and hoses for any wear or tear. If need be replace any damaged hoses and belts. You may also want to keep a spare fan belt in your car in case of a breakdown.
2. Safety first – Stocking up on safety items in your car could potentially save your life. Again if traveling in the colder climates, pack enough blankets to keep you and your family warm in case of trouble. Road flares, safety triangles, jumper cables, a reflective vest, tire chains (if applicable),and a first aid kit are essentials in case of breakdowns.
Having water and high energy snacks in the vehicle is also a good thing to carry as you could be stuck for a while depending on your location. Ladies if you keep your cell phone in your purse, be sure to zip it up because if you are in an accident the phone could potentially be thrown somewhere you cant reach or find. Don’t place your cell on the dash or in the cup holder either, instead place it in the closed center console or the glove box.
3. Information- Before you even leave the drive way, check the conditions of the roads you are planning on traveling so you know what to expect. Most states with winter conditions, have a toll free telephone line you can call and get the road conditions. Also let someone know your route, planned stops and estimated arrival time. That way if something does happen, it will help authorities find you.
4. Slow and steady- Arriving late is always better than never arriving at all. Take your time and drive as safely as possible. Slow down and give yourself more room for stopping as conditions can change quickly.