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Ladies Auto Know…How to Plan Your Autumn Road Trip in Advance!

michiganroadlight480Along with the dewy outbreaks and colorful canopies of autumn come the hustle and bustle of back to school, the kickoff of the football season and, of course, the stress of holiday travel. By ensuring that your vehicle’s systems are up to speed and you’ve connected the dots between Points A and B, you don’t have to let the cooler weather slow you down. Here are a few simple tips to help keep you and your family safe and sound, while taking the stress out of fall holiday travel:

  • Plan Your Route Ahead of Time

For longer trips, you should always share your travel itinerary with others. According to the American Red Cross, you should tell a friend or loved one where you’re going, your planned route and when you anticipate arriving. Search for some sort of travel planning app on your smart phone that can help you to plot your course and determine your travel time based on driving habits and preferences. Such programs can also alert you of any road blocks, traffic or other snafus you may encounter during your adventure.

  • Proper Vehicle Maintenance is Key

I know I may sound like a broken record with this line, but I just cannot stress enough how important preventative maintenance is in ensuring your vehicle runs properly during your day to day travel, as well as on long road trips. Check out my previous blog on fall specific maintenance to be sure your vehicle will make the grade. To really ensure peace of mind, make an appointment with Linear Automotive for oil service. Let our staff know of your upcoming travel plans and our mechanic will go over your car with a fine tooth comb. Breaking down out of town and away from your regular automotive shop is the last snag you need during your trip.

  • Wet Roads Means Longer Stopping Distances

         Whether you’re driving the kids to soccer practice or cruising down the freeway to Grandma’s house for Thanksgiving: rain, oil buildup and wet leaves on roadways greatly increases the amount of time required to stop. Make sure your tires have PLENTY of tread: According to the National road-tripHighway Traffic Safety Administration, that means no less than 1/16″. A great way to check this quickly yourself is to place a penny in the tread with Lincoln’s head upside down and facing you. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, it’s time for new tires. Also make sure the air in your tires are filled to manufacturer’s specs. Bald or improperly inflated tires are no match for a rainy freeway or soggy leaves on neighborhood streets.

  • Pack Plenty of Supplies

Weather related accidents and road closures can cause lengthy delays, turning your short trip into a tiring adventure. Prior to leaving, make sure your vehicle’s emergency kit is stocked. This kit should include items such as: gloves, boots, blankets, flares, a small shovel, sand/cat litter, a flashlight, charger for phone (I like to carry an extra cell phone battery for mine). If you are travelling with little ones, that’s a whole new ball game so don’t forget extra everything for them as well. Plenty of water, snacks etc. Use your road trip app to map out convenience stores and gas stations to ensure you and your passenger’s “tanks” are always full!

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