Preparing for a road trip? Your car also needs to be prepped for the transition, more so if you are traveling during winter. You have a clear objective, to plan your trip properly and making sure that you have everything you need to reach the destination safely.
Here are some tips to help you out:
- It is vital to get your vehicle serviced before embarking on the journey to ensure that it has been winterized. This includes changing fluids; replacing summer or all-season tires with winter tires and making sure brakes are in working order.
- Wiper replacement is crucial. They should be winter-ready, and if not, you need to buy a new pair that is equipped to deal with snow and ice. A lot of accidents happen when the vision is blocked due to a chunk of snow, so you shouldn’t take a chance. Ask your mechanic to check your wipers and have them replaced, if needed.
- If there are chances that roads are icy or you have to cruise over mountain passes, you have to buy tire chains or studs. Talk to your mechanic or local tire shop to see which size and type are best for your vehicle and road conditions.
- Emergencies can never be predicted. That is why you need to have emergency supplies on hand before leaving. Carry an emergency blanket, roadside flares, jumper cables, flashlight (preferably wind-up) and tow rope. Other items include water, food, an emergency contact list, matches, candles, and pocket warmers. Extra clothing should also be taken such as hats, cardigans, gloves, socks, and footwear. Copies of hotel addresses and phone numbers along with maps should be present too.
- A bag or two of salt, sand or kitty litter should be kept handy as they help your tires find grip when stuck in the snow. Plus, the weight stored in the back of your vehicle will assist lighter-weight vehicles, especially in icy conditions. Carry a shovel that is strong enough to withstand heavy snow and ice, a good ice scraper, and extra windshield fluid.
- An auto club membership is a must before you leave. They provide roadside assistance should you find yourself stuck in the winter snow and often help to save on hotel costs and other travel services. Don’t forget to carry your roadside assistance number with you along with your membership card.
Plan out the entire trip and give a copy of the plan to a friend or relative. Set up a phone-in plan, agreeing to call a point person at each stop. In case something happens, your point person will call emergency personnel.
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