With the average age of cars on the road today at an all-time high, vehicle maintenance is increasingly important, particularly during the busy holiday season. Before a road trip, even small maintenance tasks can increase vehicle safety and minimize costly repair problems in the future. To help keep you safe when traveling this holiday season, here are five simple steps to take before hitting the road.
- Clean your windshield and windows inside and outside to increase visibility. During the holidays, many are traveling on unfamiliar roads and often in the dark, so having good visibility is important, especially if you run into inclement weather.
- Replace your windshield wipers if they aren’t working well or are more than six months old. Bad windshield wipers make driving in the rain more dangerous, especially on unfamiliar roads.
- Check, change or top-off your oil, coolant, brake and transmission fluids, despite the distance you are traveling. This helps the car systems to perform well.
- Check your headlights and taillights to make sure all are working. New bulbs are easy to install, inexpensive, and improve visibility and safety. In most states you can receive a traffic violation for a non-working exterior light, so make sure to be aware of yours.
- Get your tires checked and consider having them rotated. Consider replacing any tires that look suspect, as tire blow-outs can be dangerous. Having to replace a flat tire on your trip can also deflate your enjoyable family getaway.
Taking time before a trip to ensure your vehicle is operating safely is well worth the effort. However, it’s important to remember that you aren’t the only driver on the road. Make sure you have the right insurance to protect yourself from uninsured and underinsured motorists.
Nearly one in eight U.S. motorists is driving around uninsured, putting insured drivers at greater risk in the event of an auto accident, according to a study directed by the Insurance Research Council (IRC), co-sponsored by The Hanover.
Make sure to pack the right insurance for your road trip. Talk to your independent agent to make sure you have the right coverage in place, like travel and auto insurance, which offers roadside assistance and original equipment manufacturer parts (OEM).