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Preparing for a Road Trip
Though summer is not officially and we have a few more weeks, more and more people are on the road. People finishing up their summer road trips before getting back into the normal school groove. Road trips are probably one of the best and most diverse ways to see the United States. People go to national parks, to funky roadside attractions; you literally go places you would have never known about before. So, what better way to end the summer than to discuss how to prepare for a road trip. Not only that but how to stay safe while you are on the road. Remember, if you have been injured in an accident, you have rights. Contact an accident lawyer at Silverthorne Attorneys to discuss your case.
Accident Lawyer | Preparing for your Trip
Preparing for the trip is almost as fun as the actual trip. To be honest, you don’t need to have a detailed plan for your road trip. Having a bit of spontaneity can be a wonderful thing. However, having an idea of the places you want to see is a good idea. One tip we have is to check mileage. Oftentimes in certain states, places can be hundreds of miles away; even if they look close on the map.
Our accident lawyer suggests that you buy a map and physically map out your route. Do not set yourself up for exhaustion by planning a trip that will leave you in the car for 10 hours a day.
Though it is sometimes fun to aimlessly drive to just find a hotel for the evening, it is often more difficult when it comes to finding something cheap. And then you may get stuck going farther than you hoped because of the lack of lodging. Though you do not need to plan where you sleep every evening, think about planning one or two nights ahead if you like.
If you decide to camp, it is essential that you make reservations. This is especially true during the summer and at popular camp grounds.
Getting Gear Ready
The first thing after you map out your trip is to get your car checked. Being the daughter of a mechanic, I know how important it is to get your car checked before hitting the open road. Get your car inspected shortly before your trip to ensure everything is working properly. Make an appointment at your car repair shop at least two weeks before you leave. Sometimes there are more issues with your car than you realize and your mechanic will need more time to get your vehicle ready.
Another tip our accident lawyer has when it comes to your trip is to pack according to the weather. Check the local forecasts for the places you will be traveling to. For instance, the weather in some places may be completely different from the place where you began your trip. Pack clothes that can easily be layered or taken off.
Snacks are almost one of the important things of the road trip. At least in my opinion. Having food or snacks that are non-perishable food items are key to a successful trip. Some of our favorite are:
- peanut butter
- trail mix
- veggie or dried fruit chips
These are just a few suggestions and a few of my favorites. If you have perishable items, put them in a collapsible folder. Snacks like yogurt that need to be kept cold can be put in the cooler. Make sure to replenish your ice supply every morning to ensure that your food and drinks keep cool. Check to see if you have a gas card that is going to be the most useful for the regions you are traveling.
Emergency First Aid
Gather all of your emergency supplies and pack them together in the trunk. Keep in mind, that these items need to be accessible at all times. Have the following basics in your car:
- motor oil
- radiator fluid
- roadside emergency kit with flares, jumper cables, and flashlight, etc.
- fire extinguisher
- additional nonperishable food items
- drinking water
Learning the Basics
You should always have a spare tire in your trunk in case you get a flat. Keep your flat tire stowed in the trunk in case you need it when you get to the nearest service station.
Know how to check your oil and other fluid levels. If you are traveling through extreme weather or there are extreme climate changes from one area to another, it is good to check fluids every time you head out.
- for oil, lift the hood and pull the dipstick and wipe with a rag
- see our post on The Importance of Changing Your Oil, we go over how to change your oil
- for radiator fluid, check the transparent tank under the hood, if your fluid does not fall between the two lines indicated, add more fluid
This time is also a good time to invest in road side assistance. Plans with AAA cost about $100/yr and are very helpful and extremely responsive. Choose whatever is best for you.
Remember to have fun on the road and try to get a little lost, but also be smart. If you have been injured in an accident contact us. Consultations with an accident lawyer in our office are free!