Summer is peak driving season, and it's also the time when most people move from one home into another. If you're planning a driving trip this summer — particularly one that's a long haul with your belongings in tow — heed these safe driving tips from Courtney Caldwell.
She was kind enough to answer questions during her journey. Since she knows the danger of talking and texting while driving, discussions took place after she parked for the night.
Q: What standard maintenance should a woman do before setting out on a driving trip?
A: There are several things to do beforehand:
- Have the brakes checked
- Do a complete oil change
- If you don't already know, ask someone to teach you how to check your oil and windshield fluid levels. Everything is color-coded now, so you can clearly see what goes in which container
- Stock an extra container of windshield fluid. When you're driving a long distance, you hit a lot of bugs
- Keep your eye on the gauges when you travel
- Make sure you have a spare tire
- Ride on the best tires. Bridgestone has a Tire Advisor on its site to help you choose what's best for your specific vehicle. The company also makes special ones for extended summer and winter driving. Also know the PSI (you can find it inside car door) and check that your tires are properly inflated.
Q: I know you recommend keeping an emergency kit in the trunk. What should it contain?
A: These are essentials:
- Kneeling pad (for when you need to change a tire)
- First-aid supplies
- Extra water.
Q: What about personal safety precautions?
Pay attention to your surroundings and minimize the number of stops you make so that you are less exposed. When you do need to stop, choose a well-populated service center — not a truck stop. Start early in the day and check into your accommodations well before dark.
I do have to say how surprising I find it to see so many young women at some of these roadside travel service areas barely dressed, taking photos of each other, posing and giggling, just having harmless fun, yet from where I sit in the high-profile U-Haul as I pull in, I also see men sitting in their cars, backed into a remote shaded spot, watching, staring, glaring... and the young women haven't a clue.
Q: Where can readers find out more?
A: Visit Venture Cross America for more safe driving tips geared toward women.
Q: Thanks, Courtney!
Note: Courtney's trip is sponsored by U-Haul and Bridgestone Tires.