How to Prepare Before Leaving on a Trip

Are you planning an upcoming holiday with the family or have you and your friends finally decided to take that much-anticipated road trip?  If so, safety is always a key concern to keep in mind.  Let's take a look at a handful of tips to employ in order to ensure that your holiday does not encounter any unexpected issues. What do the experts have to say?

Oil and Other Fluids

Oil is the life blood of any vehicle and if it is not kept at optimal levels, your engine could soon overheat (even in the winter). This is why you should always check oil levels before departing and top up this content if needed.  Do this while the engine is turned off in order to avoid becoming scalded.  In the same respect, check the level of your brake fluid and coolant.  Long-distance driving should account for bad weather, so make sure that your wiper fluid is likewise at the appropriate level.  If the wiper blades themselves appear damaged, it is a good idea to purchase a replacement pair in advance.

Battery and Electrical System

Experts recommend that a car battery should be replaced every two years.  If you are unaware the last time one was changed, it is wise to buy a replacement; better to be safe than sorry!  Check and examine all other electrical systems associated with the vehicle.  Pay attention to headlamps and tail lights.  Ensure that brake lights are functioning properly and that your hazards can be activated when required.  It is much better to purchase a replacement bulb than to place yourself at risk (or to be charged a hefty fine while driving).

Brakes and Tire Pressure

As the tires are the only form of contact between your vehicle in the road, you need to make certain that they exhibit the appropriate level of pressure.  This is normally indicated on the wall of the tire in terms of pounds per square inch (psi).  Check the tread of the tires to ensure that it is not worn. If driving during the winter, determine whether or not you will require snow tires.  These can make all of the difference in the world if you encounter icy conditions or should you be forced to suddenly brake.

Speaking of brakes, be sure that they are functioning as they should.  Squeaking or grinding are sure-fire signs that they need to be replaced.   If you notice black dust around the rims of your tires, this could be an indicator that the pads have become worn.  It is important to have this issue diagnosed by a professional mechanic before leaving.

Finally, make sure to possess all of the proper documentation as well as emergency supplies such as roadside flares and a first-aid kit.  The good news is that all of these VERTI tips for travelling in a safe way are easy to tackle if they are addressed in advance.  Safety should always be your first priority.

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