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Start Preparing Your Car for Your Vacation

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Start Preparing Your Car for Your Vacation

Craig Clemmings
October 19, 2011

Who doesn't dream about a grand trip driving across the country? Your potential future may include a long distance road trip, whether its all by yourself or with family or friends. Preparing just isn't part of some folk's makeup - they just jump in their cars and go. Nevertheless your trip might be more pleasurable if you make some plans before you get started. Not to be ready for the many things that can happen while on vacation can be a big mistake.

Be sure all of your maintenance is completed and up to date to lessen the chances of car trouble. Make sure your oil has been just recently changed, and check your auto tires and battery. Get your destination and route of your trip planned out, so that you know where you will be all of the time. Always check ahead to ascertain if there's any road construction that might be a problem, and to see where you want to stop overnight. Make sure you have roadmaps of any locations where you plan to go off road and explore. Once you learn your location and where you're going, you'll make much better decisions every step of the way. It is pretty obvious to be alert, but most accidents are caused by the inattention of drivers. You'll have a great time and a wonderful vacation if you've planned adequately and stay focused when driving.

Make sure you have a cell phone on hand, but save it for emergencies or when you're not behind the wheel. Check to make sure it will be charged up and on hand, but no chatting while driving. Cell phones cause accidents when being used in the car, however they are invaluable to have if you have car trouble. A good number of states require the use of seatbelts, and they are a good safeness precaution, so make sure you are buckled up. You'll also want to guard against theft. Don't forget to also have a tracking unit and a steering wheel lock, as well as fuel and ignition system locks - criminals hate these things.

Should you have an accident then carry out whatever necessary to protect your family, and keep your car from further damage. Move your vehicle so it's not barring traffic, and be sure to turn it off so it won't overheat and start a fire. Also be sure and try to signal oncoming traffic and, finally, be sure and phone your insurance company on the spot. If your insurance coverage may not be up to date, you should not even leave your driveway.

It's also crucial that you make sure you have your insurance paperwork in the car with you. You need to be prepared. Nobody expects an accident, but should one happen it's way better to be prepared.

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