Holiday Car Travel Tips

Be safe. Drive smart.

Be safe. Drive smart.In this post, we share holiday car travel and safety tips from the NHTSA and the Car Care Council to help keep you and your family safe.

For many people, the holiday season means a road trip to visit family for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Tens of millions of Americans will be taking car trips during the holiday season.

A downside to this is that more cars on the road mean more opportunities for car accidents. Not only are there more cars but there can be unpredictable and extreme weather conditions.

You can’t control the weather or the traffic but you can make sure that your car is fully prepared for the trip.

The non-profit Car Care Council advises checking the following items as part of your pre-trip safety vehicle check.

 

Car safety check for the holidays

  • Wear seat beltsCheck your brakes and make sure the battery connection is clean, tight and corrosion-free.
  • Check your filters and fluids: engine oil, power steering, brake fluid,  transmission fluid, windshield washer solvent, antifreeze/coolant.
  • Make sure your heaters, defrosters, and windshield wipers are working. Wiper blades should be replaced every six months.
  • Check your hoses and belts that can and make sure they are not loose, cracked, brittle, frayed or show excessive wear.
  • Check your tire pressure and tread. Tires should also be checked for bulges and bald spots.
  • Check that your exterior and interior lights and headlights are all working.
  • Check how long it has been since your last tune-up and oil change and have it serviced if it is close to being due.

Related: Winter checklist for your car

 

Holiday driving tips

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has offered the following safe driving tips for the holiday season.

  • Don't text and driveTravel at a safe speed – Drive at the speed limit, unless weather or road conditions make it so that you should drive slower. Driving at the speed limit when there is snow on the road can sometimes be too fast. Drive safely in work zones and use caution driving at night.
  • Don’t drive distracted – No texting while driving and keep your eyes on the road.
  • Wear a seatbelt – Wearing your seat belt increases your chance of surviving a crash. In 2017 alone, seat belts saved 14,955 lives. If everyone had worn seat belts on every trip that year, 2,549 more lives could have been saved.
  • Make sure children are always buckled or secured in age-appropriate car seats. Since 1975, 11,606 children ages 4 and under have been saved by child restraints. There were 325 children saved in 2017 alone.
  • Drive Sober – It’s the law! It can also be a matter of life and death. Designate a sober driver if you plan on drinking. In 2017, there were 10,874 fatalities in motor vehicle traffic crashes involving drivers legally drunk. These unfortunate deaths are entirely preventable.

Related: How to avoid winter car breakdowns

 


Need an auto body repair shop you can trust?

Probst Collision is the top auto body repair shop in New Lenox, IL. We provide collision repairdent removalmechanical 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


 

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