The holidays are quickly approaching. This means millions of families will hit the road to visit family and loved ones. The last thing you want to deal with is car trouble while you are far from home.
Unfortunately, car breakdowns do not take a holiday and can happen at the most inconvenient times. Here are some tips to help you survive your holiday traveling.
Do Maintenance Prior to Your Trip
Before you go, do some basic maintenance to the car to help prevent potential problems. Check the battery, change your oil, and check the tire pressure. Listen to your car while it is running idle to check for any noise coming from belts or hoses under the hood. Also, make sure the headlights and brake lights are working properly. Some auto repair shops do pre-trip inspections to make this step easier for you.
Check the Weather
Before your trip, take a look at the weather forecast along your route. If precipitation is in the forecast, be sure you are fully prepared. Make sure you have the right type of tires on your car, and be sure the windshield wiper blades are fresh and working properly.
You may also want to prepare for a potential breakdown in cold weather. When your car is not running, you will be without a heat source until a tow truck arrives. Keep some extra blankets, hand warmers, and extra coats and hats in the car to bundle yourselves up until you can get to a warmer place. Also, keep some plastic bags and extra shoes and socks to keep your feet dry if you have to get out of the vehicle.
Prepare a Safety Kit
In addition to warm clothing and blankets, your vehicle also needs a safety kit just in case. The safety kit should include a flashlight, jumper cables, road flares, phone chargers, water, and a first aid kit. Also, pack some non-perishable snacks in case you are without help for a long period of time.
Have a Written List of Contacts
While most people keep a list of contacts in their smartphones, write down a list of contacts and important phone numbers in a notebook to keep in the vehicle just in case.
If your phone dies or gets broken in an accident, you need to have a list to consult. You can then either borrow a phone from a passenger or use a phone in a store to call for assistance.
Among your list of phone numbers should be different tow truck companies in the areas through which you plan to travel. Have several companies to choose from in any given area. With the holiday season, you may encounter one or more companies who close or do not offer service after a certain time. If you can, research reviews and prices before you go so you can get a better deal than you might otherwise.
Check Your Insurance Policy
When you travel for the holidays, you may also be transporting gifts. If you get into an accident, the gifts you have in the vehicle could suffer damage as well. Before you leave for your holiday road trip, consult your insurance policy to see if you are covered for property damage inside your vehicle. If you purchased expensive items, you could lose a lot of money if you are not insured.
We want you to be safe driving this holiday season. However, we are here to help you if you need assistance. Please contact us at Shasta County Towing if you are in the area and in need of a tow. We are happy to help!