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Written by: J. Todd Tenge

Seven Summer Vacation Driving Tips

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Summer is almost here and you are looking forward to your vacation. If your plans include a long road trip, consider that summer is a dangerous time of the year for driving. This is largely due to greater congestion, road work, and good driving conditions that encourage more speeding. To help make your vacation a safe one, the car accident lawyers at Tenge Law Firm offer these seven vacation driving tips:

Get Your Car in Shape

Check these items and replace or repair where necessary:

  • Fluid levels. These include your engine oil, engine coolant, brake fluid, power steering fluid, and wiper fluid.
  • Filters. Check the air filter, oil filter, and gas filter.
  • Hoses and belts.
  • Battery.
  • Wipers.
  • Tires. Check their tread and air pressure. Is your spare tire in good shape? Is it properly inflated?

Check your owner’s manual for a mileage based parts replacement schedule and follow the recommended replacements.

Don’t Drive Overnight

Even if your travel companion is willing to drive in shifts with you, don’t attempt to drive through the night. It is highly dangerous because the body is wired to sleep at night. Invariably, fatigue sets in after midnight no matter how many coffees are consumed. This fatigue will remain throughout the following day. Instead, find a place to sleep overnight.

Take Frequent Breaks

Fatigue is best avoided by taking lots of breaks. Don’t wait until you feel tired. Stretch your legs and move around during your rest stops.

Drive Carefully during Rainstorms

Slow down and increase your following distance during rainstorms. The pavement becomes slippery when oil and grease first gets wet from the rain. Puddles are also a hazard for hydroplaning.

Backup Your GPS with a Map

A GPS sometimes makes mistakes and occasionally won’t acquire a signal. The driver should never get distracted with navigation. Allow a passenger to set the GPS and check the map.

Maintain a Fuel Safety Buffer

Don’t drive until your gas tank is nearly empty before fueling up. Traffic delays and detours may cause you to burn more gas than expected. The greater the distances between towns, the bigger the fuel safety buffer you should maintain.

Bring a Safety Kit

A safety kit will get you through a car break down. The kit should include a first aid kit, flashlights, blankets, water and food. Keep your cell phone batteries charged.

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