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packing for road trip

How to Prepare Your Car for a Long Road Trip

Road trips are a great way to get out of the house, explore new places, and spend quality time with your family. With more children out of school and the weather warming up across the country, summer is one of the most popular times to get on the road and travel.

Recent findings from Destination Analysts found that nearly 72% of Americans plan to leisurely travel this summer, up 36% from last year due to the coronavirus pandemic. With that said, it’s important that you take steps to ensure that your vehicle is prepped for the long journey ahead.

Here are five ways to get your vehicle road-trip ready so that you can maximize safety during your travels.

Check Your Tires

As you’d expect, tires are paramount to safety. Before your trip, you’ll want to check your tires for any sign of wear and tear, including your spare. Ensure that the tire pressure is where it should be—underinflated tires can waste gas, while overinflated tires can make your ride quality worse. If necessary, get any tires replaced or rotated before your trip.

Test Your Lights

Your car’s lights allow you to alert other drivers of your next moves on the road and allow you to see when driving during the night. Before a long road trip, make sure all interior and exterior lights are working properly. This includes your headlights, blinkers, brake lights, and fog lights. Any dim or flickering lights should have their bulbs replaced.

Get a Maintenance Check

If you have an upcoming road trip on your calendar, it’s a good idea to make an appointment to get your vehicle inspected by an auto mechanic. Ask them to check fluids, including motor oil, wiper fluid, engine coolant, transmission fluid, and brake fluid. Additionally, you’ll want to ensure that your brakes are in good shape and that your A/C is working properly.

Make a Schedule

Figure out what times you will be driving and make a schedule that includes how long each portion of the trip will take. You can make notes about where to stop for bathroom breaks and where you will pull over to sleep overnight. Remember, fatigued driving can increase your risk of a crash, so never plan an extended period of time driving. Instead, plan to alternate between drivers or make extra stops to get adequate rest.

Pack the Essentials

There’s nothing worse than needing something essential when you’re already on the road or in the unfortunate event that your vehicle breaks down. Make a list of what you will need for the trip and plan for emergency situations. This may include packing road maps, extra phone chargers, water bottles, flashlights, a chain or thick towing cable, jumper cables, food, and a compact first aid kit.

We Are Here If You Need Us

From all of us at Martin Jean & Jackson, we hope that this checklist provides you with the information and tools you need to have a safe summer road trip. If you or a loved one is injured in a car accident in Oklahoma, know that our legal team is here to provide you with the compassionate legal guidance that you need during this time.

Contact our Oklahoma car accident attorneys at to speak with our legal team for free today. We have four convenient offices located across the state, so we are prepared to handle your case wherever you may be.