01 June 2011

10 tips for keeping your family safe on the road

The heat is rising, the kids are finally out of school and we are officially in Summer Vacation mode.  We are in full swing with finding ways to keep our kiddos busy and planning those fun summer vacations.  The one most important factor to include in your agenda is keeping your family safe on the road.  Thanks to Safelite and Social Moms I have put together my ten most important tips to keep your family safe on the road. 

Tip one, get that vehicle in tip top shape and start from the inside out.  I do a complete sweep of my car cleaning out everything.  With a family of five we can accumulate the most random things that don't need to go along with us on a road trip. This includes a vacuum, spot clean and a wipe down with a germ killing wipe (especially on the door handles, steering wheel and all those buttons). 

Tip two, a Good wash of the outside that includes cleaning up those tires and wheels.  The brake dust on these things can be a good indicator of how your brake pads are doing.  I also make sure to clean out the trunk and only keep the essentials like a spare and the tools to change that out. 

Tip three, Now that your vehicle is as clean as its going to get. Inspect, inspect, inspect.  From every minor flaw to those that aren't know if it will cause any issues on the road.  

 Tip four, a chipped windshield is dangerous. A small chip can turn into a big issue and cause the glass to become weakened and shatter. 

  • Think you can ignore a chip in your windshield? Think again! The windshield provides up to 30% of your vehicles structural integrity, and a chip smaller than 6 inches (or the size of a dollar bill) can easily be repaired by filling it with a special resin.
  • A chip could turn into a crack at any time, often when you are least expecting it. Windshield repair is often a safe and economical alternative to a full windshield replacement.
  • Scheduling a windshield chip repair is easy! Companies like Safelite AutoGlass provide mobile service – wherever your car is – often within 24 hours of your initial call.
  • Forget do-it-yourself repair kits. The resin could easily shrink or yellow, lowering the quality of the repair. Safelite AutoGlass uses a patented repair process… A vacuum is created over the damaged area and the resin penetrates and fills the finest micro-cracks. The technician pulls off the vacuum changer and the UV light hardens the resin. Safelite’s resin is proven to be the strongest and longest lasting on the market.

Tip five, check your tires the tread should be great.  Any bald spots pose a dangerous risk to a road trip.According to most states' laws, tires are legally worn out when they have worn down to 2/32" of remaining tread depth. Use a penny to check the tread of your tires grooves by putting it head first into the grooves. Lincoln's head should be covered by the tread this is approximately  a little over 2/32" depth.

Tip six, check your tire inflation.  Tires do deflate with time and did you know you get better gas mileage when they are inflated properly.  

Tip seven, have your tires rotated and balanced.  This also makes for longer lasting tires and a smoother ride.

Tip eight, check your windshield wipers and fluid.  There is nothing more dangerous than driving in conditions that require the use of your wipers and fluid and either of them not working properly. 

Tip nine, check your brakes if anything about braking isn't as it was before.  It is time to get them serviced.  Any squeak or vibration while driving is a cause for concern.

Tip ten, get your oil changed, if it has been a year you are in definite need of a change.  Or if you have gone 5,000 miles it is time to change your oil.   Check your owners manual as some vahicles need to be changed sooner or can go a little longer.

“I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Safelite blogging program, for a gift card worth $30. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”

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