Long weekends are when automotive professionals turn into drivers, heading out on the road to spend time with family and friends, or just have an adventure. Getting there and back safely should not be taken for granted.
Just like the shoemaker whose children have no shoes, sometimes our own maintenance habits can fall behind as we hurry to get everyone else on the road safely.
So, here’s a quick checklist for everyone who will be heading out on the road.:
Make sure you can see: wipers, bulbs, and windshield washer should all be good to go. Consider taking the opportunity to have spares in the car. After all, you probably don’t have to go too far—maybe just 10 steps—to grab bulbs or wipers.
Make sure your tire pressures are good to go. It may be the first time in a while that you’ve done more than commute, so don’t assume everything is up to spec.And don’t forget about the spare!
Make sure your emergency kit is still in the car.
Ensure all your insurance and ownership documents are with you.
Check the weather of course. You don’t want to get caught out by a big storm.
Keep your cell phone charged. Using a smart phone GPS will sap a battery and you never know when you might need to make a call.
Relax. Expect to leave later than expected, and to take more time on the road. Driving while stressed can cause you to make unsafe decisions about speed. Better a little late than not at all.
Never drive while impaired. This should be a no brainer but if you’re at camp (a cottage), it can be tempting to run into town for supplies when you shouldn’t be driving. Don’t take the risk. It’s not worth it.
And of course, all of this applies to the trip back as well
(Originally published for the Canada Day weekend)