Summer is here and that means time for a road trip! You’ve marked off everything you need to do on that checklist you made; things like getting sunscreen and insect repellent, all the way down to making sure your neighbor will feed the cats. But there’s a major item that may not have made it onto your to-do list, and it should be a priority: inspect the car.

Many people overlook this obvious item that needs some attention before a road trip. This can lead to all kinds of potential hazards that could ruin a perfect family getaway.Here are a few things you can do to ensure that your vehicle is tip-top before you hit the road.

Schedule a checkup. This is something that you likely do on a regular basis, but it’s a good idea to have a mechanic perform some basic maintenance—like checking fluids, wiper blades, brake lights, etc.—to make sure your vehicle is ready for the road.

Check the tires. Ideally, you should have a professional make sure your tires are good to go. But if time is an issue, or perhaps if you want to save a few bucks, there are a few things you can do on your own. You can check the tread by placing a quarter in the groove with George Washington’s head down. If you can see the top of his head, then you need new tires. You can also check the tire pressure and make sure it’s set to what’s listed in your driver’s manual.

Check the battery. If you don’t have a multimeter, you can check the charge in your battery by starting the car and turning on your headlights, then revving the engine. If the headlights function normally and don’t change brightness levels as you rev the engine, then your battery is in good shape. If not, you should get it looked at by a professional.

Pack an emergency kit. If you don’t already have one, you should bring along a small kit with a flashlight, first-aid kit, snacks, water, and a few basic tools. If you’re going somewhere remote where cellphones won’t work, you might consider packing a couple of road flares.

Checking your vehicle is important in ensuring your family is safe on the road. However, not all drivers prepare their automobiles properly, and that can lead to accidents. If you have been the victim of a negligent or distracted driver, you should get legal assistance. Contact the Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers at (619) 233-5020 or toll-free (888) 233-5020 and set up a free consultation today.

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