With the long Memorial Day weekend upon us, many media outlets are reporting that Americans are taking road trips in record numbers. To help our readers to remain focused on staying safe, clean, and green we offer the following suggestions from our colleagues at the National Highway Safety Transportation Authority (NHTSA).
Basic Safety Check – Regular maintenance like tune-ups, battery checks and tire rotations go a long way to help with preventing breakdowns. In addition to keeping your car maintenance current, be sure to check your vehicle’s tire pressure, wiper blades, fluid levels, lights and air conditioning before your caravan hits the road.
Check for Recalls – Sometimes you may not know if your recalled vehicle still needs to be repaired. You can look up your car on our website – www.safercar.gov/vinlookup – to see if it’s been repaired as part of a safety recall in the last 15 years.
Protect Your Passengers – All drivers and passengers should wear seat belts. If you’re traveling with children, the best way to protect them is to use a car seat or booster seat for their size and age, and all children 13 and younger should ride in the back seat. Visit Parents Central to find out how to select the right seat for your child’s age and size.
Stay Alert! – Manning the wheel during long trips can be tedious. Be sure to schedule in time to stop and stretch, eat healthy meals and relax. Consider stopping and staying in a hotel to recharge during longer drives. Staying alert also means not drinking and driving or using your cell phone when you’re behind the wheel.
Emergency Roadside Kit – Even well maintained vehicles can break down, so it’s a good idea to have a few emergency items at the ready during your family’s road trip. In your kit, consider adding a cell phone and charger, first aid kid, flashlight, flares, jumper cables, water and blankets. Even if you don’t have to use your kit, you’ll have peace of mind knowing you have these critical items stowed in your cargo.