There’s nothing better to look forward to after a long, freezing winter than the warm days of summer. It’s the season of longer days outdoors and under the sun, with adventures at every corner.
And if you’re like many Canadians who spent the cold months cooped up indoors following COVID-19 guidelines, you’re likely already counting down to the days when you can head out. A summer road trip is exactly what you need—the antidote to the travel bug.
But before you hop in your car this season of road trips, you need to make a few pit stops first. If you’re travelling by car, now is a good time to ensure that your wheels can make the journey and that your car insurance coverage is adequate.
Whether you’re heading out just a few hours outside of Kingston, or you’re in it for the long road, it’s important to make sure your car is in top shape. Check out these tips for a fun and safe summer road trip:
1. Check your tires
Perhaps the most important part of your road trip prep is don’t head out of Kingston without tires in the best condition. As the temperatures rise, make sure to have your winter tires swapped out.
While they kept you safe on the road in the colder seasons, it’s time for them to go. Unlike winter tires, summer or all-season tires are made for the warm weather, without the specialized compounds and tread designs. If you insist on driving in winter tires, you only run the risk of reducing their effectiveness for the cold.
2. Top up fluids and check the wiring
Add to your tire change, book a full vehicle inspection and tune-up. The last thing you want on your summer road trip is having your car break down even before you’re out of Kingston. Not only does it spoil the vacation and delay your long-awaited adventures on the road, this can also quickly turn into a dangerous situation, especially when you’re driving in remote areas.
So, before you head out, make sure to top up on transmission and brake fluids, and have your car’s wiring and engine checked. This is especially important if your car has been sitting in the garage for a while. Pop up the hood and check for frayed or nibbled wiring, and get a mechanic to check the engine and exhaust pipe.
3. Eyes on the road
Now that your car is in good condition, it’s time to head out. Once you’re on the road, keep your eyes on it. Don’t even think about driving and texting when you’re behind the wheel. Not only is distracted driving a major traffic violation in Kingston and across Ontario, but it’s also a serious hazard with potentially devastating consequences.
4. And keep the chat to a minimum
Being on your phone isn’t the only form of distracted driving. A lively chat with your family or friends can be just as distracting. While everyone is definitely excited to go on a road trip, it’s important to make sure that when you’re behind the wheel, your priority is to drive safely.
5. Don’t eat on-the-go
Are you aiming to be at your destination before sunset, or did you schedule stops along a scenic route out of Kingston? You may think eating on the drive is a no-brainer when it comes to cutting down your driving time and avoiding delays, but as the designated driver, it’s not always the best idea. Of course, you need to eat—just don’t multitask when you’re behind the wheel and risk-taking your focus off the road.
6. Take regular breaks
Need to check the messages you got when you were behind the wheel, or grab a bite and some coffee, so you’re alert on the road? Now is the time to do it. Take regular breaks throughout your road trip for utmost safety.
With scheduled breaks, you can check updates on weather and traffic, and send messages, as well as avoid the dangers of eating on the road. Plus, regular breaks during the day or stopping for the night help you avoid fatigue and decreased visibility, and the risk of accidents.
7. Watch out for when school’s out
Going on a summer road trip means dealing with more people on the road in Kingston and beyond. And since it’s summer, it also means school’s out, making it more important than ever to keep your eyes on the road. Once you’re out of the highway, watch out for kids playing on the street or riding their bikes.
8. Keep an emergency kit handy
A summer road trip is all fun and adventure until an emergency strikes. Accidents, injuries, and car trouble can easily dampen the mood and disrupt your vacation. Worse, finding help can be challenging when you’re driving through unfamiliar territory.
This is why you need to pack an emergency kit in your car, fully stocked with essentials like phone and car chargers, a first aid kit, flashlight, flares, jumper cables, water, non-perishable food items, and blankets. Having these supplies on-hand can reduce the risk of serious damages, especially when you’re stranded while waiting for help to arrive.
Are you headed out of Kingston this summer? Your most exciting and memorable road trip yet starts with safety first. So before you go, make sure to add reviewing your car insurance coverage to your pre-departure checklist.
PAIB Insurance is here to help you plan a fun, safe, and scenic road trip. Embrace life on the open road safely with up-to-date and comprehensive car insurance coverage. Our insurance brokers can review your coverage, recommend upgrades to keep you safe on the open road this summer, and offer tips for staying alert and focused behind the wheel. Start planning your summer on the road with a quick call to get the car insurance coverage you need.
Getting ready to hop in for your most memorable and scenic road trip yet? Explore Kingston and the open road beyond with the right car insurance coverage. Contact PAIB Insurance today to update your coverage.
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