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How to prepare for a summer road trip

Traveling by car is one of the best ways to explore the United States. Whether the next trip is a quick weekend jaunt or a week-long adventure, many Washington residents already have plans to escape the mundane landscape of daily life for something new.

Road trips might be one of the simplest ways to take a vacation, but it's not without risk. Drivers need to make sure the vehicle is in top condition to carry them to their destination and back. Nothing ruins a road trip faster than being stranded in the middle of a vacant highway.

In at least a week before the trip, it's a good idea to give the vehicle a quick tune-up. Check tire pressure and tread depth, including the spare. Refill liquids, such as wiper fluid and coolant. Depending on the last time the vehicle received an oil change, it may need fresh oil to run smoothly.

As you load the vehicle with travel gear, be sure to pack emergency supplies, including:

  • Jumper cables
  • Phone charging cable and spare power supply
  • Insurance information
  • Emergency contact information
  • First aid kit

Finally, when the trip arrives, limit distractions and plan to avoid fatigue. Some residents attempt to drive through the night to arrive at the destination sooner, but driving while tired can be extremely hazardous, even with caffeine. It's also more likely that other cars and trucks on the road could have sleepy, inattentive drivers with a chance of drifting into your lane.

Although no vacationer expects to suffer a crash during a time of relaxation, drivers should understand that it is a possibility. After all, not all crashes are avoidable - especially when another driver acts with negligence or recklessness.

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