Summer is approaching, and with it comes a spirit of adventure. It is time to get out of the house and enjoy the weather.
Road trips are a favorite pastime of many. It allows you the freedom of the open road at a lower cost than a plane ticket. Unfortunately, accidents happen, and disasters can still strike far from civilization. The last thing you want is to have your road trip derailed by a breakdown before reaching your destination. Before you set out on your road trip this summer, take the time to review these tips.
Prevention is the Best Policy
The best way to deal with unexpected breakdowns is to avoid them altogether. Before you embark on your journey, take your car to your local mechanic. Have the vehicle looked over to make sure it is prepared to handle the trip. If your vehicle is still covered under a manufacturer’s warranty, this checkup may be free. Many companies will examine the car, perform an oil change, and do a tire rotation, all at no cost to you. With any luck, you can catch an issue before it has a chance to derail your trip.
Keep an Emergency Kit in your Trunk
Before you embark, prepare an emergency kit. Be sure to fill it with anything you may anticipate needing. At the very least, this includes a tool kit, tire jack, spare tire, wheel wrench, and jumper cables. Flares or reflectors come in handy as well. Additionally, a reflective vest can keep you extra visible if you must walk along the road searching for gas or a phone.
Think ahead. You may also consider adding some non-perishable foods like nuts or crackers if you are stuck somewhere waiting for a tow truck to reach you. Do not forget to keep some bottled water on hand.
Have a Plan
The best way to prepare for any crisis is to have a plan. Know what to do if your car breaks down. If you experience car trouble, pull over and turn on your hazard lights. Make sure you are off the road and out of the way of traffic. If this is not possible or visibility is low, set out some road flares or a reflector. There is nothing worse than getting into an accident because your immobile vehicle is blocking traffic. Additionally, popping your hood is a great way to indicate to other motorists that you require assistance.
Another great way to prepare is by saving any essential phone numbers in your phone’s list of contacts. This includes contact details of mechanics and tow truck companies. If you have AAA or a similar service, make sure you have the number saved. If you are stranded without cell reception, you can make the necessary phone call without relying on an internet connection. Find a phone or ask to use a landline.
Lastly, if you see smoke, get out of the car. If there is a fire, it is much safer to be outside the vehicle than inside. Remember to be careful in exiting the vehicle on the road.
Consider an Extended Warranty
Standard auto insurance will protect you in the event of an accident. However, it is less helpful in the event of a breakdown. If the manufacturer’s warranty on your vehicle has or will expire, consider an extended warranty. An extended warranty is what it sounds like: an extension on your vehicle’s manufacturer’s warranty. Not only will it save you money when servicing your car before you embark. It will help cover unexpected repairs on the road.
Warranty companies offer different amounts of protection. Do some research to determine what is best for you and your vehicle. If you need help, an excellent place to start is with the most reputable extended car warranty companies.
Road trips offer fun and freedom. At best, they offer a respite from typical modern life. At worst, they can bring headaches and stress. The best way to ensure the former is to prepare as best you can.
Try as you might, you can never wholly prevent a crisis. However, the next best thing you can do is make sure you are prepared when they arise. Your road trip should be a success with some common sense and forethought, and any issues will make for a fun story later on.
Cedric Jackson’s writing draws on his rich life experiences, time spent traveling and years working with the written word. He is passionate about internet marketing, automotive, travel and the entertainment world. When not busy writing, he spends his time traveling, reading and keeping up with world events.