Four tips for hitting the road with peace of mind this summer

·2-min read
Advance preparation is essential when it comes to taking the stress out of vacation road trips.

As the summer getaway approaches, many vacationers will be hitting the road by car in the coming weeks. To prepare a road trip effectively and to drive with peace of mind, there are certain rules and rituals you should follow before setting out. These include checking the vehicle's in proper working order -- from brake fluid to tires and headlights -- as well as protecting passengers from the sun and distributing luggage correctly.

Check everything!

Before hitting the road, it's essential to check the levels of all the vehicle's fluids (oil, brake fluid, coolant, windshield washer). The same goes for the lights (headlights and turn signals). It is also important to make sure that the windshield has no signs of impact that could cause it to crack during a trip. Just in case, it's also advisable to clean or, if necessary, change the car's filters and check parts like the brake pads or spark plugs. Don't hesitate to call on the services of a professional before you leave if necessary.

Tire pressure matters

For everyone's safety, divers should check the pressure of their car's tires (and spare tire) before setting out. For long journeys, it's advisable to inflate tires to a slightly higher pressure than normal. You should also check their wear using the indicators found directly on the tires. These usually take the form of small rubber ridges located in the main grooves of the tire. If these are too worn, don't hesitate to get the tires changed.

Sun protection

Hopefully, the sun will already be shining as you set off on the road to adventure or relaxation. Either way, it's essential to take sunglasses, for the driver and for passengers, and don't forget the sunscreen. During breaks, think of ways to protect the car when parked, with a windshield sunshade or cover to prevent the air in the car becoming suffocating and the steering wheel burning hot. It's also a good idea to check that the air conditioning is working properly before you set out.

The art of packing

Vacations mean luggage. In fact, this is probably the time of year when vehicles are most likely to carry a heavy load. It's therefore important to distribute the weight well to avoid imbalances that could lead to tire wear, especially at the rear. That's why a roof box can sometimes be useful. Finally, bicycles must be correctly mounted and secured, whether on the roof or at the rear, while not covering the license plate, lights or turn signals.

David Bénard

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