Summer & Fall Driving Safety Tips
While there is still plenty of warm weather ahead for some last minute summer road trips, the beautiful season of fall will soon be upon us. Regardless of the time of year that you wind up jumping in your ride and hitting the road, you will want to have a safe and enjoyable journey. Breaking down or having any kind of car trouble can put a real damper on your plans (and wallet). In order to try and avoid these unpleasantries from happening to you, in this blog we will go over some time tested summer and fall driving tips to help you and your car stay happily on the road in the coming months.
Safety Tips Before The Trip
Founding father Ben Franklin taught us that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. This is certainly the case when it comes to automobiles. Maintaining your car is a lot simpler and much less expensive than a costly repair later. Before you hit the road, here are some things to check beforehand.
- A/C and Heat – Make sure both are working. Not only do these creature comforts make the journey that much more enjoyable, but they also play an important role in safety by keeping your windshield clear from fogging or frost.
- Cooling System – Nothing will stop you faster in your tracks than a car with a cooling system problem. Being low on antifreeze can do serious and very expensive damage to your engine should it be allowed to overheat. Before your journey, be sure to check your car’s coolant level. It may also be a good idea to keep a gallon of antifreeze with you in the trunk.
- Oil – This critical lubricating fluid is really the life-blood of your engine. Motor oil basically is the only thing keeping the fast moving, pieces of hot metal parts in your engine from welding themselves together. Engine oil is your best bet when it comes to inexpensive, internal combustion, catastrophe prevention. Be sure to check your oil before and during the trip. If you are due, go ahead and change it prior to leaving. Want to be really prepared? Bring 4-5 quarts of the correct oil for your car with you.
- Belts & Hoses – Another potential show stopper. Over time and many miles, your belts and hoses will weaken and begin to deteriorate. Either one of these critical components failing will put you on the side of the road. In addition, if your radiator hoses fail, you will be paying for a few more gallons of antifreeze too to replace the coolant that shot out of your busted hose.
- Other Fluids – Don’t forget to also check the other fluid levels in your car including brake, transmission and power steering. These components need proper lubrication to function normally.
- Wiper Blades – If you can’t see, you can’t drive safely. Wiper blades may just be the most neglected part of a car. Invest in a pair of good quality wiper blades. The peace of mind that you will get from being able to see in both rain and snow will be well worth it. While you’re at it, don’t forget washer fluid either. Both summer and winter blends are available.
- Lights – Proper head and tail light functioning is critical to safety. Keep in mind also that you could get pulled over by the police if any of your car’s exterior lights are burned out. Checking your lights all the way around ahead of time is a great idea.
- Tires – Last by not least. When you think about it, the only thing connecting your several ton car to the road are the tires. The importance of good tires cannot be overemphasized, no matter what the season. Before your trip, be sure to have your tires checked and rotated if needed. Just as important as it is to have good tires, they must also be inflated properly to provide the greatest safety. Leave with good tires, you will be glad you did.
How To Keep Staying Safe
Cars today are extremely complex machines, with hundreds of components all working together in harmony. As the old story goes, if you take care of your car, it will take care of you. Road trips in the summer and fall can be really exciting and fun. As you plan your destination and the stops along the way, put the same amount of effort in making sure your car is ready for the road ahead by following these summer and fall driving tips. You will be happy that you did – guaranteed! If you have any questions regarding staying self behind the wheel this summer and fall, visit Insure on the Spot today! We also offer comprehensive Auto Insurance and SR22 Insurance for the Chicagoland area!