Get your car a checkup
According to a recent AAA survey, more than one-third of Americans will plan a road trip vacation of 50 miles or more away from home this summer—and AAA estimates they’ll be called on to rescue nearly 7 million of them. Don’t be one of them! Just like you take your kids to the doctor before school starts, you want to make sure your car is healthy before you take a cross-country road trip or even just head to the nearest lake in the heat. Find a mechanic you trust, and have them do an oil change, fluid level check, battery test, and tire inspection, all of which go a long way toward reducing the chances of a breakdown. Here are seven summer car tips every driver needs to know.
Pack up your car safely
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Summer is the perfect time to take a road trip, but it is important to make sure you’re packing all your beach gear and kids toys safely. “To start, put heavier items on the bottom of the cargo area and toward the front to preserve the integrity of the car in case you need to swerve suddenly in an emergency,” advises Rebecca Lindland of Kelley Blue Books on behalf of Chevrolet. Lindland also recommends avoiding loading SUVs and hatchbacks beyond the height of the rear seat backs, which both helps keep a clear rear view and also prevents items from flying loose and possibly hurting someone in a collision. Check out these life-saving road trip planning apps.