Now that summer has officially arrived, many families are hitting the road for a family vacation. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, nine out of 10 American drive to their travel destination.
Safe driving begins before you even leave the driveway. We can't just haphazardly throw things in the car and take off. Securing the luggage, maintaining vehicle balance, checking the tires, making sure everything is running correctly in the car, and keeping clear lines of sight from the driver's seat are important components in packing your car safely for the long drive.
Here are a few things to keep in mind as you pack your vehicle with luggage and other vacation items:
- Load heavier items first, such as suitcases, towards the center. Lighter items such as coolers, beach bags, and food can be packed on top of and to the side of the heavier items.
- Make sure the weight is distributed evenly. You don't want all the weight on one side. That can increase the chance of a car tipping over in the case of an accident.
- Do not pack items too high that can obstruct the driver's view through the rear-view window. Items that are too high could also shift forward and hit the people who are in the back seat if the car needs to stop suddenly.
- For any cargo on the roof or back of the car, make sure all cargo is fully secured. Don't forget you are carrying cargo if you need to go under a low overhang or backing up in a parking lot.
- Check your car for a tune up. Get the oil changed, make sure the tires are at the correct pressure, fill up the windshield washer fluid, make sure all power windows are working, check the air conditioning and heating, etc. There are many things to check to make sure your car is in tip-top shape for the long ride. Check all vital fluids, belts and hoses, battery, and brakes. You want everything to be in perfect working order before you leave the driveway.
- If towing a trailer, make sure it is in good condition. Use safety chains and check the trailer periodically during your trip.
- Don't overpack. Pack only what you need since heavy cars take longer to stop.
Recreational Vehicle Insurance
Are you driving a recreational vehicle, such as a motor home, and towing your car? Recreational vehicles may not be properly insured by your auto insurance policy. You may need to buy a separate insurance policy for the recreational vehicle. If you need a recreational vehicle insurance quote, fill out our recreational vehicle quote form.
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Written by Bill Pepe