7 Tips to Do Before and During Your Road Trip to Enjoy a Safe Journey

Minit-Tune & Brake| Thursday, April 05, 2018

Planning on hitting the road this weekend? Whether you are driving long distance in Vancouver or taking a short trip to the surrounding cities, make sure that both you and your vehicle are ready for the adventure. Performing basic car maintenance and timely auto repair helps ensure you reach your destination safely. An overheated engine, for instance, could bring your trip to a completely halt. Also, sleep well the night before. Drowsy driving is a major cause of road accidents. Keep the following tips in mind before you travel.

road trip

  1. Schedule a vehicle tune-up: A neglected vehicle increases the risk of sudden breakdowns which could impact your family’s safety. Schedule any necessary service like an oil change or vehicle tune-up before you head out. A full evaluation of the ignition system and timing, valve adjustments, new filters and spark plugs, topping of all fluids, etc. will improve vehicle efficiency and service life.
  2. Ensure booster seats are properly installed: This helps prevents injuries and fatalities. Check out Transport Canada’s child car seat installation guidelines and car seat clinic locations in your community.
  3. Pack an emergency kit: This should include a shovel, windshield washer fluid, a flashlight, jumper cables, flares, tools to change a tire, blankets, a first aid kit, extra clothing and footwear. Remember to add necessary medications and emergency food. Also, make sure your cell phone is fully charged.
  4. Stock up on water and healthy snacks: Many drivers limit their water intake to reduce the number of washroom breaks. However, dehydration leads to muscle cramps and fatigue which can cause driving errors like lane drifting and late braking. To stay hydrated, drink water, avoid caffeine drinks and snack on fresh fruits and vegetables like carrots.
  5. Sit properly behind the wheel: Sitting properly gives you more stability when manoeuvring your vehicle. The Official Ministry of Transportation (MTO) Driver's Handbook says you should sit upright with your elbows slightly bent and place the back of your head in the middle of the headrest to protect you in a collision. You must be able to see over the steering wheel and hood as well as the ground four metres in front of the vehicle. Check that your feet reach the pedals easily, without effort.
  6. Plan your stops: When on a long drive, experts recommend stretching your legs every two hours. Get out of the car and walk around, jog or stretch when you stop for light meals and snacks.
  7. Sleep well: Get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep the night before your drive. According to the NHTSA and CDC, drowsy driving and falling asleep at the wheel are major causes of accidents. Whenever possible, switch with another adult driver.

Ready to Service Your Vehicle? Bring it In for Auto Repairs in B.C. and Surrounding Cities

A vehicle maintenance tune-up will reduce the risk of you and your family being stranded on the road. An oil change is one of the simplest ways to keep your vehicle in good shape.

The team at Minit-Tune & Brake Auto Centres can help with your oil change and maintenance. Our mechanics will do a multi-point visual inspection of your brakes, tires, fluids, belts exhaust, electrical and cooling system. With comprehensive auto repair services we fulfill all your car care needs.

To have your vehicle serviced, find an auto repair shop near you today. For questions about auto repairs in Vancouver and surrounding cities, contact one of our centres in your area.

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