Of all the exciting things there are to do in the summer, few match the fun of a family road trip! Whether you’re hitting the road with your SUV or RV, or hooking up the new boat or camper, there is nothing better than a mini getaway. In order to make your trip as stress-free as possible, isure has you covered with 10 essential summer driving tips. This way, your getaway can be focused on having as much fun as possible. So, what are you waiting for? Start packing those bags!
1. Don’t overpack!
Although it may seem like a good idea to pack as much as you can while you’re on your trip, this can actually backfire. This is especially true if you take a car or trailer with you on vacation. Overpacking your car can be extremely dangerous! Packing too much stuff will lead to excessive strain on your car and its tires. This is especially dangerous when it comes to overpacking on your roof. Having too much on the top of your car can cause heavy strain on your roof as well as put you at risk of tipping. If you are unsure as to how much your car can handle, be sure to check your owner’s manual to check your vehicles capacity.
2. Remember to always top up your fluids/maintain your vehicle
The last thing you want during your summer road trip is a vehicle breakdown. To mitigate the chances of a breakdown, change the oil and oil filter, top off your washer fluid, make sure your tires have enough tread and be sure the tires are set to the proper tire pressure. If it’s been several years, you also will want to get new wiper blades, flush the coolant system and perhaps replace the engine’s belts and hoses. Though it may seem like a hassle, having to do this while on your trip would definitely put a damper on it!
3. Keep hydrated and full while driving in summer
Driving in the summer requires you to keep hydrated when stuck in a long traffic jam under the sun. Take plenty of cold water with you before heading out on longer journeys – enough for you and all of your passengers. It is also a good idea to pull over somewhere to eat! This is especially crucial if you are going to be driving for many hours. Nobody likes to be hungry or thirsty when driving!
4. Always drink responsibly
A very important summer essential driving tip: if you are drinking alcohol, do not drive. Before heading out to a summer social event, consider how you are going to get home. Don’t drink if you’re driving and find another method of transport if you do want to drink. On top of this, always make sure your friends and others have a method of getting home safely. if they do not, invite them to stay with you wherever you are! This way you can enjoy the hot weather without putting yours and other people’s lives at risk.
5. Start with a cool car before driving in summer
If you’ve ever driven in a hot car for an extended amount of time you know exactly how important your car’s air-conditioning system is to retaining your sanity during a summer road trip. Get it inspected before departure. Nobody wants to spend hours in a super hot car!
6. Be on the lookout for more than just cars
It’s the summer which means there will be more people outside walking, running or biking. They might not be paying much attention as they’re enjoying the sunshine. As a driver, your job is to watch out for them. Along your travels in the summer you may also encounter large trucks. It is dangerous for motorists to travel unnecessarily in lanes adjacent to large trucks. Either pass the truck or tuck in behind it. If you are driving up north to cottage country, it is also important to be on the lookout for animals! Especially if you are driving in the dark.
7. Never leave pets or childnre in the car
Too many people still think it is okay to leave their dog in the car during the summer. The OSPCA says that if it’s 22 degrees outside, the inside of a car can reach 47 degrees within one hour, which can lead to heart-breaking consequences. Even parking in shade or leaving the windows down does not make the car a safe place for a child or dog in summer. So unless you can take your children or fur babies with you wherever you go, find a sitter or sit this one out.
8. Carry an emergency roadside assistance kit
Despite all of the proper planning, your vehicle can still break down during your travels. You can stumble upon fellow motorists who require immediate assistance, as well. For these reasons, carrying an emergency roadside assistance when driving in summer kit is important. You’ll be able to find a variety of options online. At a minimum, experts recommend having first-aid supplies, a hazard triangle or warning flares for when your car is stuck at the side of the road, a can of tire sealant, jumper cables, a flashlight with fresh batteries and a pair of gloves. If you’re traveling off-road or in lightly populated areas, it is also wise to carry warm clothing, food and water.
9. Check all functions of your car before summer driving!
Your cars tires are among the most important contributors to vehicle safety. Before taking a long trip it is important to inspect them for wear or damage. If they are worn due to age, tire pressure neglect or a bad alignment, you’ll need to replace them. It’s costly, but can save your life. Not having to worry about the state of your car while driving will take a lot of pressure off of you while you are behind the wheel!
10. Check your lights beforehand
Before setting off on your summer road trip, make sure all your car’s lights work. They’re all important, so ask for help as you cycle through the headlights, taillights, brake lights, turn signals, hazard flashers and reversing lights. As mentioned before, nobody wants to have to make a pitstop at the mechanic on their way to or from their destination. This is why it’s crucial to prepare beforehand!
Remember, if you are in the market for standard car insurance, or even RV or boat insurance, be sure to check out isure! We offer some of the best rates in Ontario when it comes to insuring your vehicles.