With so many people ready to get behind the wheel for road trips this winter, it's only natural that there may be some hiccups along the way. However, some of the obstacles drivers encounter are likely avoidable – they just chose not to take the proactive measures to protect themselves.
Drivers act smart before road trips
There are some motorists who are doing their best to avoid becoming a cautionary tale on the roads. The Rubber Manufacturers Association recently conducted a survey to see what these drivers are taking care of before long trips. According to the study, the majority of people – about 54 percent – check their tire pressure prior to leaving on a road trip. This helps avoid lost fuel efficiency or subpar driving performance. About one-fourth also conducted a quick tread check to make sure their tire grip was adequate.
"We're encouraged that more than half of holiday road trippers are taking steps to be tire smart and check tire pressure," said Dan Zielinski, RMA senior vice president of public affairs. "But all motorists should be checking tire pressure before every long trip. Fully loaded vehicles packed with people, luggage and holiday gifts that ride on under-inflated tires present a safety issue."
A few other maintenance actions were common as well. About 51 percent of motorists sprung for an oil change before road trips, and another 41 percent had the brakes checked. However, 15 percent had nothing done, and that puts them and their cars at risk.
Easy safety tips
The RMA had a few other recommendations that drivers should take note of, specifically with regard to tire care. For instance, the organization suggested drivers take out the owner's manual to see what the optimal tire pressure is. That way, they'll have a baseline to compare readings to when measuring before long trips. Motorists should also pay attention to the temperature – if there are any wild weather swings or big plunges, it could be smart to give the tires an extra examination.
If you're not sure what needs to be done on your ride, don't be afraid to seek some help from the professionals. The Total Car Care Center at NJ State Auto Auction, for instance, caters to the public and can address any issues you may have. Just one appointment could save you a lot of time and money by avoiding costly repairs in the middle of your trip.