In many parts of the country, winter was long and hard. And many of us are not quite done with a cold and wet spring. But summer will be here in just a matter of weeks. Most people are not yet ready to think about it, let alone prepare for it. We’re not just talking about finding and washing the window screens we’re talking about summer road trips. And preparing for summer road trips doesn’t just mean getting swimsuit ready or making hotel reservations.
Americans will be spending hundreds of thousands of miles behind the wheels of their vehicles this summer or as passengers, and why not? Time off + beautiful weather + predicted low gas prices means that it’s a great time to take your motorized old heap on holiday with you. But sadly, a consequence of summer luring more motorists onto the road is more vehicle-related mishaps. Some of them are the result of actual contact between two vehicles. But a surprising number of them aren’t and could have been potentially avoided altogether with more preparation. Read on for some tips on how to avoid summer road trip mishaps, and keeping your trips memorable for all of the right reasons.
Most of us wouldn’t take a trip if we were ill or had broken bones. So why are you doing so with a car with bald tires, a bad axle or dying brakes? Even if “Christine” is in generally good health, make sure that her filters, plugs, hoses, windshield/windshield wipers and air tire pressure are all in good shape.
Yes, it’s probably unlikely that you’ll encounter a blizzard at the height of summer. But severe thunderstorms, hurricanes, tornados, hailstorms, and flash flooding can certainly happen. Savvy road warriors check weather reports before heading out and take them seriously. Delay trips or get off of the road before bad weather strikes.
The American Automobile Association calls the days when these inexperienced and often inattentive drivers are out of school “the deadliest days of summer”. Use extra caution while driving in areas where they congregate- shopping centers, movie theaters, restaurants, parks, and swimming pools and beaches.
You might think that you’ll save time and money on summer road trips by driving at night when there’s less traffic. But night-time driving often causes dangerous driver fatigue to occur. And late hours often mean fewer people to report and respond to accidents and breakdowns that might occur.