Traveling across the country can be fun. There are a few things you need to think about to prepare your car for safe travel. There are three main areas to deal with. The first has to do with the overall condition of your car. The second has to do with emergency maintenance. And the final area involves resources to keep you safe should you become stranded.
It is not my goal to frighten you by writing this article, but the situations that I will talk about can happen. So please read through this article and take note of the things you can do to make your car and yourself safer when traveling.
Overall condition of your car
The first thing you need to do is make sure your car is roadworthy. Many of us, during our day to day grind, don’t think about the condition of our cars. If you break down between your home and work, you can have a relative or friend come pick you up within an hour. But if you are out on the highway, in places you don’t know, this could be a lot harder to do. Also, the general condition of your vehicle being road worthy can be the difference between making it to your destination or not.
The major parts that you want to check are the brakes, engine oil, transmission, steering, lights, and tires. Also, if you are going into a cold environment, you will want to make sure the heater is working properly. There is nothing like coming from the South, where it is warm and running into a winter storm without the heater working. I promise you it will be cold. If you are not familiar with the parts of your car listed above or just don’t have the expertise, have your vehicle checked out by a professional. It will be well worth it.
No one wants to break down on the road, but it will happen at some point if you travel enough. Being prepared is your best defense against such an incident. If your car becomes stuck on the road for some reason, you will need to have emergency lights, flares, or cones to signal to the oncoming traffic that they need to change lanes and slow down. The other things you should have for an emergency break down are a spare tire, tire iron, jack and a cell phone. The cell phone will come in handy if you have a problem that you can’t fix. Also, if you can’t get a signal, you will have to walk or flag another vehicle down to help you; make sure you have good walking shoes and something to get the attention of other drivers.
It also pays to have a roadside assistance service plan. You can usually obtain this through your car insurance provider or cell phone company. If you have a problem, they will send someone to help you, including towing you to the nearest service station. Each plan is different, so check with your specific company.
Resources in case you become stranded
In most cases, if you break down, you will be able to fix the problem or get someone to help you. But there is always the possibility that you could become stranded for an unknown amount of time. Being prepared is your best solution should this happen to you. The best way to be prepared is to make sure you have the basic necessities for survival. You need to have an ample supply of water and food. You also need a change of clothes and blankets. Additionally, a source of fire may be needed if you are in a cold environment. You should also have a good map of the area so you know where you are at. A good flashlight will help you see in the dark.
Traveling in a car is something we can all enjoy. Just be sure to prepare by making your car road ready and gathering all the things that will be necessary if there is an emergency. Finally, a good first aid kit should be in every car even if you are not traveling very far.