The scent of fresh pine, the hum of tires on a highway, and the thrilling sense of adventure; summer road trips are an iconic part of many Canadian vacations. But, before you pack your bags and plot your course, take a moment to ensure you’re not only prepared for the journey but also protected against potential pitfalls.
1. Vehicle Maintenance is a Must Before hitting the road, conduct a comprehensive check of your vehicle:
- Tires: Check tire pressure, tread depth, and look for signs of wear. Consider whether you need all-season or summer tires for your journey.
- Fluids: Ensure your oil, coolant, brake fluid, power steering fluid, and windshield washer fluid are all topped up.
- Brakes: Listen for any noises and ensure brakes respond appropriately.
- Lights: Check headlights, brake lights, turn signals, and emergency flashers.
- Air Conditioning: Make sure it’s functioning correctly, especially for those scorching summer days.
2. Pack an Emergency Kit While we hope you never need it, an emergency kit is essential. Include items like jumper cables, a flashlight, a first-aid kit, water, non-perishable snacks, a multi-tool, and emergency blankets. For longer trips, consider packing additional water, a spare tire, and some basic car repair tools.
3. Double-Check Your Insurance It’s essential to understand the coverage you have and where it applies:
- Liability Insurance: Ensure you have adequate liability coverage, especially if travelling to areas where medical care is expensive.
- Comprehensive and Collision: If you’re travelling through areas with high animal activity, consider your comprehensive coverage. Collision will help if you’re in an accident that’s your fault or involves another vehicle.
- Rental Cars: If you’re renting a vehicle, understand your policy’s coverage and whether you need additional protection.
- Out-of-Province: If you’re crossing provincial lines, double-check that your insurance remains valid throughout your journey.
4. Plan Your Route but Be Flexible Having a set route can help, especially in areas with poor cell reception. However, be ready to change your plans due to unforeseen events like road closures. Apps like Waze or Google Maps can alert you to traffic conditions in real-time.
5. Rest Up and Take Breaks Driving fatigued can be as dangerous as drunk driving. Make sure you’re well-rested before your trip, and take breaks at least every two hours to stretch, rest your eyes, and hydrate.
6. Secure Your Home If your road trip means leaving your house unattended, ensure it’s locked up tight. Notify a trusted neighbour or friend to keep an eye out, collect mail, and maybe even mow the lawn, so it appears lived in.
7. Travel with Copies of Important Documents Bring copies of your insurance, registration, and identification. If something gets lost, having a backup can be a lifesaver.
In Conclusion, Your summer road trip should be filled with memorable adventures, not mishaps. By taking a little time to prepare and ensure your insurance is up-to-date, you can hit the road with peace of mind, ready to explore all that our beautiful country has to offer. Safe travels! 🚗🌲🏞️