Summer Driving Tips

Summer driving tips

Summer driving tips

With summer road trip season about to begin, the car safety blog Carwise has released a list of summer driving tips to help keep you, your family and vehicle safe for your summer vacation.

It won’t surprise you to hear that more Americans travel during the summer months than any other time of the year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly 90% of families will use their car to go on a trip, even if it’s only for a weekend.

All these vehicles on the road mean that there are more opportunities for car accidents to occur. Besides busier roads with more cars, there will be more road construction during the summer as well. Extreme heat and rain can also increase the chance of accidents.

You owe it to yourself to take a few extra steps to help ensure you have a safe trip.

Here are some safe summer driving suggestions originally published by Carwise.

Make sure your vehicle is ready for extended trips

Prior to embarking on your vacation have a mechanic inspect your vehicle’s brakes, tires, belts, hoses, fluid levels, A/C, transmission, and oil. In the summer heat, it’s also important to make sure that your car stays hydrated just like your body. That means inspecting the radiator, radiator hoses, and coolant level. Right before setting out on your trip also check the following:

  • car maintenanceTire pressure including the spare
  • Wiper blades
  • Battery strength and cable connections
  • Oil level
  • Look for suspicious fluid leaks underneath the vehicle
  • Headlights, brake lights, turn signals and emergency signals

The last thing you need while transporting your family cross-country is to get stranded alongside the road in the blistering heat. Instead, make sure that your car is as road-ready as possible.

Related post: Spring Car Maintenance Checklist

 

Plan for potential roadside emergencies

Planning in advance will still never totally eliminate the occasional travel emergency, but you can be ready for anything the road sends your way. Make sure that your car is stocked with these items:

  • Jumper cables
  • Flashlight
  • Tire tools and a road-ready spare
  • First aid kit
  • Cell phone charger
  • Plenty of water
  • Hazard triangle or road flares

If you are going to be traveling many miles across sparsely-inhabited areas, like a desert, it’s also not a bad idea to pack some non-perishable food items and warm blankets.

Related post: Top check engine light causes

 

Secure pets and kids safely

Any parent who’s gone on a summer car vacation with kids knows that Johnny and Susie oftentimes end up fighting in the back seat. Insurance industry studies have found that kids and loose pets can be up to 12X more distracting to a driver than a cellphone.

To improve those odds, make sure that your family pets are secure in the vehicle before setting out, and that the kids are comfortably spaced about inside the interior. Bring along plenty of entertainment items for them like books, games, IPads, movies, and music. And don’t forget to pack lots of healthy snacks and drinks for your family members, including the non-human ones!

 

Pack your car carefully

When the average family goes on a driving vacation their vehicle is usually stuffed full of personal items, and oftentimes cars get packed in a hurry. Take time to make sure that the weight is distributed evenly, and that the driver has a clean line-of-sight all around the vehicle. If you are placing bicycles, kayaks, or other “toys” on the roof rack, know how high those items stick up if you encounter low bridges or tree limbs, along with the weight limit of the rack itself.

 

Take driving breaks

It seems that most men are programmed with the notion that they have to do most of the vacation driving. Unfortunately, they get fatigued like everyone else, and when that happens the likelihood of an accident goes way up as reaction times and concentration suffer. On long trips when there’s only one driver in the vehicle, it’s advisable to stop at a rest area and allow them to take a stretch break every 2 to 3 hours. If other drivers are available, everyone should take turns behind the wheel while others nap or simply relax for a while. A fresh driver is a safer driver no matter how you slice it!

 

Need a reliable repair shop you can trust?

Probst Collision is the top auto body repair shop in New Lenox, IL. We provide collision repair, dent removal, mechanical repairairbag replacement, and auto body painting in the local area to customers from New Lenox, Joliet, Mokena, Frankfort, Manhattan and other southwest Chicagoland cities. Contact us or get an online estimate.

Call Today: (815) 485-8411

Spring Car Maintenance Checklist

Time for a spring check up

You did it! You survived another Chicagoland winter.

It seemed like it would last forever, but it is over and now you can enjoy warm weather again.

Now that spring is here, and summer is around the corner, it’s time to make sure that your vehicle is ready for the change in seasons as well.

In this post, we share our spring car maintenance checklist to get you and your car ready for summer driving.

 

Spring Car Care Checklist

Check vehicle exterior

  • Headlights and tail lights
  • Wiper blades
  • Tire tread wear
  • Tire pressure
  • Check for chips or scratches
  • Clean and wax your car

Wiper blades should be replaced every 6-9 months because they directly affect your visibility and safety. Check your tires for wear. Uneven wear on your tires can indicate an alignment issue. Your tire pressure can fluctuate during cold weather so it should be checked after winter.

 

Check under the hood

  • car maintenanceOil change
  • Battery and connections
  • Hoses and belts
  • Schedule a tune-up

A change in seasons is always a good time to get an oil change to keep your car running efficiently. Dirty air filters can waste gas and cause the engine to lose power. Make sure your belts and hoses are not cracked, brittle, frayed, loose or excessively worn.

 

Check your fluids

  • Engine oil
  • Brake fluid
  • Power steering fluid
  • Transmission fluid
  • Windshield washer solvent
  • Antifreeze/coolant

Now is a great time to check the levels of all your vehicle fluids. If you take your car in for a professional oil change, make sure they are checking fluid levels.

 

Other

  • Check brakes
  • Check your air conditioning
  • Check for any leaking fluids on your driveway
  • Check for any vehicle recalls

Inspect your brake linings, rotors and drums for wear. Check your air conditioning now instead of waiting until the first 90-degree day to find out it’s not working.

Check if there is a defect in your vehicle on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website at nhtsa.gov/recalls by using the VIN look-up too.

 

Need a reliable repair shop you can trust?

Probst Collision is the top auto body repair shop in New Lenox, IL. We provide collision repair, dent removal, mechanical repairairbag replacement, and auto body painting in the local area to customers from New Lenox, Joliet, Mokena, Frankfort, Manhattan and other southwest Chicagoland cities. Contact us or get an online estimate.

Call Today: (815) 485-8411