Whether you’re driving down the street or to the other side of the country there are a few things you should do first. Driving requires all of your attention so if you get in a car that isn’t prepared you won’t have time to fix it later. Before you drive, make sure that your car is as ready to go as you are. It only takes a few minutes to make sure your car is ready to go and a simple check can make the difference between arriving safely or getting into an accident.
Make sure your car is safely prepared for the open road before you drive and you will be thankful for your new routines if you run into issues.
Have a Plan
Having a plan is as important as having gas in your car. If you’re traveling a farther than normal distance, plan out your route and figure out travel time. Navigation apps have made this as easy as inputting an address and hitting directions. Most navigation apps will let you know if traffic is heavier than usual if there’s road work or any other delay on your route.
Your vehicle will alert you if there’s any routine maintenance that will be needed soon like tire pressure or an oil change. However, there are other things that you should check before you hit the road. First, are your windows clean and does your A/C work properly? Do you have a spare tire in good condition and how’s that emergency road kit holding up? These are things that won’t take you long to check and should be done as often as possible.
If you’re bringing passengers it’s important to make sure their safety is kept in mind as well. You’ll want to make sure that seat belts work properly and that space is cleared. If you’ll be having younger passengers, make sure they have the proper child safety seat for the height and weight. Another thing you’ll want to check is if you have a reminder set to let you know that a child is in the backseat. One thing you’ll never want to do is leave a child in the car.
Driving requires a lot of attention but there are so many distractions that live inside one object that we carry with us everywhere; our smartphones. Make sure you have a car mount or an app that prevents you from using your device while driving. Smartphones aren’t the only distractions, especially on a long trip. You’ll want to make sure you have time set aside for rest stops so you can get sleep, eat, or just get out and stretch a bit before you drive again.
There are a few things that many of us forget to do before we drive that are meant to help keep us safer. If you need to change a tire, the emergency lane is great, but entirely off the freeway is better. If you can make it, exit the freeway entirely before changing a tire. If you’ll be drinking somewhere, maybe take a ride share service like Uber or designate a sober driver. Lastly, if you see someone who is driving drunk, mark the area in your mind and details about the vehicle. Have a passenger call 911 or do so in a safe way yourself. Even if you’re not the one driving drunk your life is still at risk if there’s another drunk driver on the same road.