As the old advertising slogan goes, you have a lot riding on your tires. As such, it’s wise to keep your car in shape and prepped for the worst, whether you’re driving the kids to school or planning a multi-state road trip. Forewarned is forearmed, so please take the following information into consideration before your next jaunt or journey. Here’s how to be ready for any emergency on the road.
Get Regular Checkups
Follow the standards laid out by your owner’s manual and see how often you need to bring in your vehicle for an all-points inspection and regular maintenance. Ensure your tires are properly inflated to the right PSI levels by checking them with a tire gauge and check them for bubbles, cracks, tears, and potential punctures. Don’t forget the spare! Check the oil and other fluid levels, especially the transmission, wiper, and brake fluid, and get a brake inspection as well. Regular cleaning keeps the car running smoothly to ensure you get to your destination on time and in one piece.
Pack a Roadside Emergency Kit
Every car needs an emergency kit to keep the car rolling or protect your family while waiting for help, should it break down. Every car emergency kit should be equipped with jumper cables, road flares or flashing signals, a first aid kit, tire sealant, extra oil, an empty gas can and full water jug, a tire jack and lug wrench, a utility tool, and a flashlight with extra batteries. If you’re not up to date on basic car maintenance, look for instruction online. Again, make this a family learning experience. Your kids will appreciate the knowledge down the line.
Plan Your Itinerary for Longer Trips
Wherever you’re going, know where you’ll be as well as what’s nearby. Whether you prefer a multi-pocketed binder containing every eventuality or a simple itemized list, keep notes on your destination, rest stops, and accommodations. Find the local version of your favorite stores for supplies and bring any medical records or required prescriptions you may need. If need be, check with your kids’ pediatrician for hospital and physician recommendations near where you’re going.
Traveling with kids involves more than packing suitcases, throwing them in the trunk, and pulling out of the driveway. When considering how to be ready for any emergency on the road, consider the most common emergency: boredom. Avoid screens and instead keep your kids’ young attention spans active with recorded books, road games like I Spy, 21 Questions, and Road Trip Bingo, among other classics. Pack surprise bags with individually wrapped games, toys, and other fun stuff, and let them open a new gift every hour until you reach your destination. Happy traveling!