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Here are Some Tips for Having a Safe, Happy Vacation

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On: Sat, Jun 1, 2013 at 9:02AM | By: Bill Wilson

Here are Some Tips for Having a Safe, Happy Vacation

With summer finally here, millions of Americans will soon be hitting the highway for that iconic ritual: the family vacation. But, before you pack the car and head out, take a couple of minutes to review the following tips for staying safe. They could make all the difference between a pleasant getaway and one that’s best forgotten.

Before Starting Out
• Have your vehicle checked out by a trusted auto shop. Some of the things the mechanic should inspect include belts, hoses, fluids, oil and transmission fluid levels, tires, air conditioning, and the battery. Get any problems fixed before leaving town. There’s nothing fun about breaking down in strange surroundings 200 miles from home.

• If you will be towing a boat, camper, or trailer, then it’s a good idea to have your oil changed right before the trip. Use a higher viscosity oil than normal to give your engine an extra level of protection. If you have an automatic transmission, then get the fluid and filter changed as well. You may want to invest in an add-on transmission fluid cooling device, especially if your vehicle isn’t designed for towing. Talk to your car care professional about this option.

• Put together a roadside emergency kit in case of mechanical trouble. It should include water, a flashlight, flares or reflector triangles, jumper cables, and first aid supplies.

• Make sure the spare tire is properly inflated and that the lug wrench, jack, etc., are in place and in good working order.

• If traveling with small kids, make sure their booster and child safety seats are in good shape and installed properly.

While on the Road
• Obey speed limits and all traffic regulations. Drive responsibly at all times.

• If kids will be traveling with you, then make sure they have games, books, videos, or other activities to keep their minds occupied. Also, keep snacks and plenty of water on hand for everyone.

• Take a break at least every two hours. Stretch, take a few deep breaths, and let anyone who needs to visit the restroom.

• If confronted by rude drivers, keep your cool and don’t respond aggressively. If you spot anyone driving in a reckless manner, then call 911 as soon as possible to alert traffic authorities.

When at your Destination
• Never, ever leave pets or kids in a car, especially if the air conditioning isn’t running and/or the windows are up.

• On hot days, the interior of the car is likely to become extremely hot if parked for extended periods. To avoid this, use windshield shades to block the sun’s rays. You may also want to cover the seats, steering wheel, and gear shifter with towels or other thick cloths to absorb the heat.

• Have a planned meeting spot for everyone to go to, in case someone gets lost.

• Consider having each party carry a cell phone or walkie-talkie to stay in touch with the other family members.

Following these rules will keep you safe and help to ensure you have a great time while on vacation. Oh, yeah, one more rule:
• Relax and have a great time!


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