It’s hard to believe that it’s November and the Thanksgiving plans are underway. Traveling over this weekend can be quite an experience, and not in the good kind of way. Mechanic One Auto Repair & European Auto Repair wants you to stay safe during your Thanksgiving travel. Here are eight driving tips to help with that.
1. Rest, Eat, and Stay Alert
Most people don’t realize that tired driving is just like drunk driving, so sleep a good eight hours the night before your trip. Have a good breakfast before you hit the road and pack high protein snacks and water to keep you alert. Make frequent stops along the way to get out of the car and move around.
2. Don’t Pack Too Much
What we mean by this is don’t pack too much in your car. Every automobile has a weight restriction, i.e. how much weight it can carry between cargo and people. Packing above that weight restriction makes driving dangerous and could also damage your tires, wheels, and suspension, including the axle.
3. Take Advantage of the GPS
You probably don’t need us to tell you this, but using your GPS system even if you know where you’re going offers additional driving assistance, including traffic alerts and alternate routes when needed. Take advantage of this technology to give you the heads-up if there’s a problem on your route.
4. Secure Everyone, Even the Pets
Thanksgiving weekend is not the time to challenge authority. Buckle everyone up inside the vehicle rather than buck this federal law. This includes the pets if they’re traveling with you. Dogs and cats should be secured properly rather than allowed to roam free to keep them and you safe.
5. Obey Other Traffic Laws, As Well
Thanksgiving weekend is also not the time to ignore other traffic laws. Leave early enough so that you don’t have to speed to your destination or weave recklessly through traffic. Pay attention to road signs, signals, and other traffic alerts. A moving violation is sure to spoil your holiday weekend.
6. Drive Defensively and Cautiously
Pay attention to how other people are driving, because you may be obeying traffic laws but other drivers may not be doing so. Steer clear of trouble, change lanes to get away from aggressive drivers, and respect semi-trucks hauling loads on the holiday weekend. They need you to give them extra space.
7. Avoid Distractions
We said above that tired driving is as bad as drunk driving and so is texting and driving. As the driver, you should only be focused on the road, which will have more drivers on it than usual. Turn off your phone notifications, ignore the kids, and turn down the radio if necessary. Don’t drive distracted.
8. Check Your Car
Finally, give your vehicle the once-over or let us do so before you leave. Make sure there aren’t problems that could strand you on the side of the road. Check your belts, filters, fluids, hoses, tires, and have any overdue services done on the automobile to make sure that you don’t break down.
8. Inspect Your Vehicle
Check your vehicle before you leave. Inspect the tires and check their air pressure. Make sure your fluid levels are topped off and get the oil changed if it’s due. Get any other maintenance done that’s due, and make sure your windshield wiper blades aren’t separating if you think you’ll hit rain or snow.
We are Mechanic One Auto Repair & European Auto Repair in Canton, MI. Call us to schedule a pre-trip vehicle check.