June 2023 - Road Trip Plans? Make Sure Your Vehicle Is Ready
Planning a road trip this summer? If so, you’ll be in good company. According to a recent travel survey, about 42% of the respondents who had travel plans this year said those plans involved a road trip.
It’s been reported that in any given summer, some 200 million Americans can be expected to embark on a road trip. With so many people sharing the road, it pays to spend some extra time to focus on safety. Distracted driving remains the leading cause for vehicular accidents, with cell phone use the number one distractor. Impaired driving is another major cause of motor vehicle accidents. However, it would be remiss to discount the role poorly maintained vehicles play in traffic accidents.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has reported that an average of 45,000 accidents each year are attributed to vehicle malfunction, and many of those malfunctions are the result of poor maintenance. The biggest culprit? Worn or improperly inflated tires.
There are two easy steps for checking your tires’ safety:
- Check the air pressure and make sure it aligns with the recommended psi for your vehicle.
- Check for excess wear by inserting a penny head-first into the tire tread. If you can see the top of Abe Lincoln’s head, you’re probably due for new tires.
Other items to check before you hit the road include:
- Brakes – screeching or grinding sounds indicate your brakes need attention.
- Fluid – check levels of all fluids – engine oil, power steering and transmission fluids, washer fluids (windshield and rear), coolants – and top off if necessary. Check the engine air filter, too, and replace it if needed. Clogged filters can impact your car’s acceleration performance.
- Lights – make sure headlights, taillights, brake lights and turning signals are all in order; replace burned out bulbs.
- Belts and hoses – look for any loose connections, frays, or cracks.
Making sure your vehicle is in good operating condition helps ensure not only your safety, but the safety of others on the road with you.