safety tips for road trips

Sponsored by Rita Ranch Automotive & Tire

Believe it or not, the holidays are slowly creeping up on us. Soon you’ll hear the sounds of jingle bells, Christmas carols, and “Ho, ho, hos” spreading joy across the country.

It’s enough to leave even the most festive people a little bit stressed.

While you dash through the snow or race through the rain this holiday season, you won’t be the only one feeling the extra miles – your car will be getting just as overworked.

Before you hit the road, Rita Ranch Automotive & Tire has a few safety tips for road trips that’ll keep you safe, on schedule, and on budget.

Safety First

The holidays mark one of the biggest travel seasons of the year. From Thanksgiving through the New Year, families are packing up and hitting the road.

Whether you’re headed out of Vail and into the snow, or driving to Vail to escape the Winter Apocalypse, your car needs to be in good shape. Before you hit the highway, the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) suggests that you have your car serviced or checked in the following areas:

  • Have your Owner’s Manual in the glove box of your car. Read it over before you leave town so you’re familiar with you car and service schedules.
  • Make sure you have a fully charged battery. Get it checked at your local mechanic if you’re not sure how to check it at home.
  • Inspect your lights and bulbs. Is everything working properly?
  • Check your heater and defroster. Even though we haven’t had frosty weather in Vail yet, you might need the heater and defroster by the time you reach your destination.
  • Check your wiper blades. Replace them if they’re not working properly.
  • Flush and refill your cooling system. This will keep your engine running better.
  • Check your tires. Are they bald, worn, or low on air? Get them filled and fixed before you head into the snow.
  • Check your brakes. Without properly functioning brakes you could be putting yourself and your passengers at risk.
  • Check your oil. Does it need to be changed before you drive all those miles on your trip?

While you’re packing your luggage into the car, make sure you bring an emergency kit with you for the road. A few items you should have in your emergency car kit include:

  • Extra gloves.
  • Extra boots.
  • Extra blankets.
  • A small shovel.
  • A flashlight with extra batteries.
  • A cell phone.
  • An extra car charger.
  • A lighter.
  • Some tinder (foil, a cotton ball, and some Vaseline work well).
  • Extra water.

With your car checked by a local mechanic – like Rita Ranch Automotive & Tire (formerly Ventana Auto) – and your emergency kit packed, you’ll have a safe trip.

About author View all posts

Lucretia Free