Pandemic relief: How to stay safe during your next road trip

If it’s within your budget

(NC) Feeling housebound and restless from the pandemic? A road trip may be just what you need. It’s the perfect opportunity to explore places closer to home that you may not have considered otherwise.

Plus, the feeling you’ll get on the open road, listening to your favourite music and enjoying the sights, will surely give you a lift. Before heading out, here are some tips to make your trip as smooth as possible:

Plan your route
First, decide where you want to go and any attractions you’d like to see along the way. Plan your route accordingly, taking into consideration gas or recharging stations, rest stops and dining options. Get tickets or make reservations ahead of time for any attractions, restaurants or hotels you’d like to visit to ensure availability. Before setting off, check the weather forecasts, as well as road closures or any restrictions along your planned route.

Car maintenance
Before embarking on a road trip, ensure your car is in top shape. You’ll want to check that your tires are in good condition, there are no unusual noises while braking, fluid levels are normal, the wipers are working and that everything is in good order.

This is also a good time to familiarize yourself with the driver assistance features of your car. From blind-spot warnings to cameras, sensors and adaptive cruise control, these features are a great aid. But it’s important to know how they will warn you or intervene, and also when they might not work properly, like in bad weather or with poor visibility. Transport Canada recommends reviewing these features in the owner’s manual or on the manufacturer’s website.

Let family and friends know the route you’re taking, as well as your destination and the timeline for your trip. Stay in contact throughout the road trip, sending quick updates as you stop at different landmarks or attractions.

Vehicle Safety Kit
Consider keeping a vehicle safety kit in your vehicle that may include first aid items, food, tools, flares, reflective safety items, and provisions that can keep you warm. Kits can be purchased at retailers.

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