31 May 10 Summer Driving Tips
Summer is here and it’s time to get out and enjoy this beautiful country. Whether you’re a member of cabin country or just someone looking to hit the freeway and feel the wind in your hair, there are some basic steps all vehicle owners and drivers should take to ensure a fun and safe trip. We’ve assembled 10 of our favorite summer driving tips for you to take with you on the road.
- Get to a mechanic – If you own a vehicle you drive regularly, before hitting the highway, take it in for a quick inspection. If you put a lot of miles on your vehicle, there are multiple elements that can fail, especially at speed, and regardless of its age. The older the vehicle the more important this step. The last thing you want is to be sitting on the side of the road, with your family, in the middle of nowhere.
- If your car isn’t highway ready, rent one – This tip comes to you from many a wise entrepreneur. When the risk of driving your own vehicle is too great, then rent one instead! If you factor in the cost per mile including the risk of a breakdown, expensive tow and repair, often times renting a car is the smarter move. There are plenty of places with new reliable vehicles you can drive fully insured and feel safe in.
- Know your route – It may seem obvious to plan ahead, but spending time looking over Google Maps (or other digital maps) to get to know the area you’re traveling can have many benefits. You may find areas where you’d like to stop for lunch, do some shopping, or experience some leisure activities. It also goes a long way to avoid getting lost.
- Keep your butts in the car – This time of year is especially dry and if you’re a smoker, making sure you’re putting your cigarette butts out in the ashtray is paramount. Many new vehicles are being sold without ashtrays, so it’s best to avoid smoking in them, generally. If you really need to, bring your own from home.
- Extra shoulder checks – Summer tends to bring out more motorcycles and their riders, and while they may be doing everything they can to stay safe, they cannot control other vehicles on the road. This makes it especially important to be sure you’re clear when switching lanes. Moving into a motorcycle with a car or truck can be fatal.
- Know your fuel stops – If you’re planning a long journey, it may require one or more extra stops for fuel. Scout ahead using your favorite map apps to find out where you can stop along the way. Knowing how much fuel your vehicle uses also helps in this process.
- Avoid drowsiness – Long drives can be quite dangerous if you are driving tired. A study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found an average of 328,000 accidents occur each year from fatigued drivers. Make sure you rest well before each leg of your journey and rest assured your family will get there safely.
- Leaving your home ‘occupied’ – If you plan to leave for more than a few days, sometimes securing your home can be of concern. If you don’t own a home alarm system, there are other options. Smart lights can be controlled from a smartphone and turned on and off to imply there are people home. Also leaving a light or two on can go a long way, but it’s not a perfect solution.
- Bring an emergency roadside kit – Even the newest vehicles are capable of running their battery dry if the motor isn’t running. Having items such as jumper cables, roadside flares, a tire inflator kit and first-aid are some of the basics worth packing for your trip.
- Check tire pressure – Look online or in your owner’s manual for the recommended tire pressure settings. Vehicles are designed to run at maximum fuel efficiency when all four tires are inflated properly and equally. Even one underinflated tire can cost you extra money in fuel over a long journey. It also improves handling!