Don’t Let Spring Break Become Spring Breakdown
March marks the start of spring break season for colleges and schools across the country, which means thousands of students and families will be piling in cars and hitting the open road. It’s easy, with all the necessary planning and packing, to forget to prep your vehicle for the trip.
However, failing to properly equip your ride could leave you stranded on the side of the road when you should be chilling on the beach. So whether you are going a short distance or driving across the country, here are some tips to ensure that you and your car are ready for the drive.
- Check the basics. Perform basic maintenance on your vehicle before you head out, such as checking your wiper blades and fluid levels. If your car is close to needing an oil change, now it a good time to do it. Ask your mechanic to check your tires and brake pads to make they are in top shape as well; there is often no charge for this.
- Bring an emergency kit. You never know what could happen during your trip. From a wreck to a zombie apocalypse, you’ll want to be prepared. Stock your car with an emergency kit filled with items like a flashlight, blanket, a cell phone charger, first-aid kit, basic tools, bottles of water and some extra food. And whatever you think will serve you best against those zombies.
- Know where you are going. Make sure you pack a GPS, map or something to help you reach your destination. A portable GPS is the ideal choice, since it can also help you find gas stations and restaurants along the way. Some GPS devices can even warn you of roadway congestion and help you find an alternate route.
- Check your glove box. Make sure your glove box has all the information you may need. This includes your car’s manual, your registration, and your updated insurance information. If you do happen to get in a wreck or break down, you’ll be glad you double checked.
- Review your insurance policy. It’s not a bad idea to review your current car insurance policy before you trip. You may even want to add coverage such as roadside assistance. Many insurance companies offer this service as an extra on their policies. It’s good to know when you’re far away from home, there’s someone you can call if something goes wrong.
Above all, drive safely and abide by the rules of the road. Avoiding distractions is key to safe driving, which means no texting and driving, no alcohol in the car, and no driving while you are drowsy. You don’t want your spring break to end before it even begins.