Summer is upon us, which means road trips, beach days, and more driving. Kelley Blue Book has some good summer driving and safety tips before jumping in your car, truck, or sport utility vehicle and heading off. Grab your sunscreen and check out these road trip tips from Kelley Blue Book, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and AAA.
Summer driving and safety tips start with inspecting and maintaining your vehicle
Beach-goers are seen near their cars at Daytona Beach | Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
One of the first suggestions from Kelley Blue Book’s road trip tips is to make sure your vehicle is up to date with maintenance. Getting an oil change, filling your tires, and checking on your wiper blades is always a good idea. This time of year, it is also a good idea to check how your air conditioning is doing. It might need a little TLC if you go on a long drive in a hot climate.
Summer driving tips include checking over your vehicle before driving off. Ensure your headlights and taillights are in working order, and look at your tires. Give your battery a check if you think it might be on its way out. Even if you have done this recently, it’s always a good idea to check again. Your registration sticker might have fallen off, or your license plate might need to be tightened.
Summer driving tip number two is to pack a safety kit and other essentials!
Summer driving tips to keep you ready for anything: stock up on safety supplies or a safety kit! The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) suggests a few items, such as a cell phone charger and an extra portable battery. There are universal phone chargers on Amazon that accept USB cables to charge various devices.
A flashlight with batteries, jumper cables, and a tire pressure gauge are a good idea. If your car doesn’t have a jack, a small one might be a good idea. Work gloves, paper towels, water, and snacks are always suitable to have along for the ride. Depending on where you are going, bringing extra blankets, towels, and coats/jackets might offer extra comfort or help in situations.
You might not use everything you bring, but that’s the point of being prepared! If someone requires medicine, be sure to pack that. Having extra items like general pain medication are also a good idea in the car. Don’t forget your sunglasses!
Be prepared and map out your journey ahead of time
One of the best summer driving tips is to be prepared for things to go awry on your road trip. Check your route ahead and get a general idea of where you are going and where you might need to pull off. Keep an eye on the weather and the road conditions. Many weather apps these days will keep you informed if you are near a storm, so be sure you have notifications turned on. Apps like Waze tell you of accidents or other road hazards. Google Maps does this as well. Make certain a passenger is in charge of this if you are traveling in a group so the driver can focus on driving.
You can check gas price apps like Gas Buddy for cheaper gas, but gas stations along the highway will probably be as expensive as they are convenient. AAA says gas prices will likely get worse before getting better, so prepare to pay more than anticipated. Try to keep your gas tank from getting too empty just in case you hit major traffic or a dead zone for gas stations.
You don’t have to follow every summer driving tip offered to you, but these might help you before you leave. Don’t forget the snacks!