Long road trips are great fun, but they present a few auto maintenance and safety issues. Here are some ways to protect yourself and your passengers:
Get Auto Maintenance
Get a multi-point inspection before and after your road trip. The check for before the trip will let you know if there are any systems that are just holding on by a thread; these need to be fixed before the trip. A check after a long trip is helpful because you never know what else can go wrong when a car is subjected to long mileage intervals that it's not used to. Take your vehicle to a shop that specializes in your make and model; a Mercedes repair will be different than any other repair, and you want to make sure that you have the soundest repairs before getting on the road for a long trip,
Listen and Look for Problems
Before you start a long road trip, be extra vigilant to the signs of auto trouble. Check for signs of smoke, fire, damage, screeching brakes, and any other problems that could slow you down on the road trip. If your car acts strangely one day, don't just let it go. The month before your trip is a time to be extra careful about checking out car issues with an auto repair specialist.
Make Sure You Have Roadside Coverage
Roadside assistance coverage is absolutely worth it if you are going on a road trip. You never know how long it will be until the next service station when you're in unfamiliar territory. Your favorite auto mechanic won't be nearby to troubleshoot your vehicle problems for a reasonable fee. Roadside assistance takes a lot of the unknown and variability out of auto service on a road trip, and it gives you someone to call to solve your road issues when you're tired and experiencing an auto breakdown, so make sure to get it covered in your auto insurance plan.
Have a Good Plan in Mind
Planning is the final key to a good road trip. That means, for one, having a conservative plan about the distance you will cover per day. A lot of accidents happen when drivers are tired at the end of the day, and they're trying to make up some miles to get to their planned hotel.
Another aspect of planning is knowing what you will do in an accident or emergency. While your roadside assistance plan can cover a lot of that burden for you, studying the maps of your route and knowing what road services are available along the way is helpful if you need speedy help at the time of an emergency. Staying safe on your trip is the goal, and a little bit of extra planning can help make the journey safer and still leave lots of room for fun.
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