The Best Car Safety Road Trip Checklist You’ll Ever Find

October 25th, 2019 by

all-new ford escape

Airports are popular for a reason. They cut down on travel time and get you to where you need to be more quickly. You can travel quite far for a reasonable rate, and you even get to sleep while you do it.

But for some travelers, you’ll never beat the thrill of a road trip. Road trips allow you to see parts of the country that you might not see from the window seat of a plane. They will enable you to taste new and exciting foods and to experience all the things that make America so diverse and great. Even if you travel locally, around the beautiful Kansas City area during the fall, you’ll still have some fun.

The downside to travel is that all forms come with some implicit danger. Road trips can quickly get out of hand if you aren’t prepared. Having the right vehicle and making sure that your car is ready before you leave are two of the best ways to stay safe on a road trip. We’ve put together a comprehensive car safety road trip checklist to make sure you never have to worry about your car when you’re trying to focus on the love of the trip.

Take A Look At Our Road Trip Safety Tips

Step 1: Make sure you have the right type of car.

Think about the type of traveling you’re doing. Your car might be new and well-suited for long-distance travel, but it won’t always be the right type of car for the kind of trip you’d like to take. If you’re planning on doing offroading, you should be using a truck or high-clearance vehicle. However, if you have a high-clearance vehicle and you plan only on highway driving, you might want to think about renting a vehicle with great mpg (usually not a truck or SUV).

Step 2: Check your lights, brakes, and windshield wipers before hitting the road.

Vehicles have small issues more than you might think. It’s best to nip them in the bud before they hit on your road trip. A few days before you leave, do your own little inspection. Turn your lights on and have someone help you check them. Flip on the high beams, the blinkers, and brake lights. Ensure your brakes work well in different situations. Then, test the efficacy of your windshield wipers. You can replace small things, like your windshield wipers and fluid. To save time on your end, however, we recommend taking your car in to get faulty lights fixed professionally.

Step 3: Prepare your car’s emergency kit.

All cars should have an emergency kit, regardless of how far you intend to go. A good emergency kit should include:

  • Jumper cables
  • A space blanket
  • Extra coolant, oil, and windshield wiper fluid
  • A tire pressure gauge
  • Flares and roadside triangles
  • A variety of extra batteries
  • A first aid kit
  • A tool kit
  • A tire patch kit

Step 4: Make sure you have extra food in your car in case you get stuck somewhere.

Road trip munchies are essential for a good time. Chips, candy, and pastries aren’t enough to sustain you in an emergency, however. When you’re packing up your emergency kit, make sure to include extra food. Granola bars, trail mix, and extra water are perfect in case you get into a sticky situation.

Step 5: Have maps or directions printed out just in case you fall out of cellular service.

There’s nothing worse than getting stuck in a place in which you’re unfamiliar. If you’re savvy, you can avoid this on a road trip. We recommend getting full state maps in case you get turned around. However, printouts of directions and maps in both directions are excellent for when your phone isn’t working. It might also be worth it to include a compass in your car, so you can more easily pinpoint where you are on a map.

Step 6: Take your car in for a multi-point inspection.

Take your car in for a multi-point inspection as soon as you’re sure you’ve prepared as much as you can on your end. Your friendly local mechanic will look at the engine on your car or SUV, make adjustments to your brakes should you need them, and more. It’s also worth your time to ask your mechanic if they think your car should be driven as far as you want it to be driven.

Step 7: Get an oil change.

If you’re going more than one thousand miles, it is worth it to get an oil change on your car. Clean, clear oil is essential to a well-functioning engine. You might have the interior of your car decked out and comfortable, but without a well-functioning engine, you won’t get far. Keep track of the way your car feels and sounds after an oil change, as this will help you determine the health of your engine as you drive. Additionally, be sure to check your car’s oil frequently as you drive.

Step 8: Let a trusted person know about your trip plans.

Finally, it’s important to let someone you trust know about your trip plans. In the age of technology, we sometimes overlook this part of travel. However, we don’t always have GPS or cellular access. If someone knows where you are at all times, it’s less likely you’ll get into serious trouble on your trip.

Step 9: Have fun!

Nothing beats the feeling of knowing you’re safe. When it comes to road-tripping, taking your mind off the possibility of danger or a breakdown makes the trip a whole lot more enjoyable.

If you need a new car, truck, or SUV for your next big adventure, Zeck Ford can help you out. We have a large selection of vehicles good for traveling and available at affordable prices. If you already have a car you love, stop by our service centers in Leavenworth. We specialize in Ford cars but provide the same level of service for all vehicles that come through our centers. Let us help you get on the road for your next road trip. Stop by our Leavenworth location at 4501 South 4th Street to browse our selection of vehicles or get your car road-ready.

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