Summer Road Trip Checklist
As the weather warms up, many people decide it’s time to hit the road. Whether you’re finally taking that epic cross-country trip or simply driving a few hours to the in-laws’ house, you’ll want to make sure your vehicle is road-ready before you pack the trunk and head out of town.
The last thing you want on an otherwise great vacation is a broken-down vehicle, or, even worse, an unsafe ride that puts you, your family and other drivers at risk. As Macon car accident lawyers, we regularly see clients who’ve been injured in crashes related to poorly maintained vehicles. As you gear up for your trip, here’s a short list to make sure you’re safe to drive:
Take care of that tune-up
You’ll need an oil change every 3,000-5,000 miles, so before you log a few hundred more on a trip, be sure your levels are good. Other vehicle fluids (transmission, power steering, radiator) also depend on mileage, so keep track of your regular maintenance. And don’t forget to check your windshield wiper condition and wiper fluid levels—between bugs and dirt, you’ll need them both.
Check out your tires
If you’ve ever had a tire blow out at a high speed, you know there’s nothing scarier. Make sure your tires are properly inflated to the levels recommended in your car’s owner’s manual, and check for signs of wear on the treads and side walls. If it’s been more than 5,000-8,000 miles since you’ve had your tires rotated, you’ll want to have that done to make sure they continue to wear evenly.
Check your filters
If it’s been a while since you’ve checked your car’s air filters—both the engine and cabin filters—take a peek or be sure your mechanic does at your next oil change. Your engine air filter protects your car’s oil from becoming dirty with particles or even bugs. Your cabin filter does the same for your car’s interior—keeping dirt and dust outside of the space you’ll be spending the next day or two.
Load your car safely
If you have a rooftop cargo holder, don’t load it down with heavy items (think instead sleeping bags, pillows or other light items). An overloaded carrier can unbalance your car, making it more prone to tipping. You’ll also want to keep heavy items out of your cab and securely stowed in your trunk. If you’re in a crash, anything loose inside your car could become a projectile.
Even with an expertly maintained vehicle and a perfectly planned trip, the unexpected can happen. Keep emergency supplies at hand: a tire-changing kit, jumper cables, a flashlight, and water are a good start. Keep your phone charged and know the basics of your route even if you’re relying on GPS. You never know when that next mountain bend will knock out your signal leaving you lost with a low tank of gas.
Pledge not to drive distracted
It may not be car maintenance, but it is the law. Georgia House Bill 673 goes into effect July 1 and makes it illegal to:
- Hold or support a phone with your hand or any part of your body
- Write, send or read any text-based communication
- Watch or record a video
While certain hands-free technologies are allowed under the law, it’s important to remember anything that takes your mind off the road can still be a distraction.
If you’ve been injured as a result of another driver’s negligence, you need a Macon injury attorney. The lawyers at Buzzell, Welsh & Hill are experts in car, motorcycle and truck crashes, and we’ll fight to make sure you get the compensation you deserve. Contact the Macon injury lawyers at Buzzell, Welsh & Hill for your free consultation today.