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7 Safety Tips for Summer Travel

Summer is the perfect time for road trips, vacations, and exploring new destinations. However, the combination of higher temperatures, increased traffic, and long driving hours can pose challenges for both your vehicle and your safety. To ensure a smooth and safe journey, it’s important to prepare your car and adopt safe driving practices. Here are some essential vehicle safety tips for summer travel.

1. Perform a Thorough Vehicle Inspection

Before embarking on your summer travels, conduct a comprehensive inspection of your vehicle:

  • Check the Tires: Ensure your tires are properly inflated and have adequate tread. Under-inflated tires can overheat and increase the risk of a blowout, while worn-out tires can compromise traction.
  • Test the Battery: High temperatures can strain your car battery. Make sure it’s in good condition, and clean any corrosion from the terminals.
  • Inspect the Brakes: Your brakes are crucial for safety. Listen for any unusual noises and check for wear on the brake pads and rotors.
  • Examine Fluid Levels: Check and top off all essential fluids, including engine oil, coolant, brake fluid, transmission fluid, and windshield washer fluid.

2. Maintain Your Air Conditioning System

Driving in the summer heat without a functioning AC can be uncomfortable and dangerous. Ensure your air conditioning system is working efficiently:

  • Test the AC: Turn on the AC and ensure it blows cold air. If it’s not cooling properly, you may need a refrigerant recharge or other maintenance.
  • Clean the Vents: Dust and debris can clog AC vents, reducing airflow. Clean the vents to improve air circulation.

3. Pack an Emergency Kit

Be prepared for any unexpected situations by keeping an emergency kit in your vehicle:

  • Essentials: Include items such as a first aid kit, flashlight, batteries, multi-tool, and a spare tire with tools.
  • Hydration and Snacks: Pack bottled water and non-perishable snacks to stay hydrated and energized.
  • Other Supplies: Consider including jumper cables, a tire pressure gauge, a blanket, and a phone charger.

4. Plan Your Route and Timing

Proper planning can help you avoid unnecessary stress and hazards:

  • Map Your Route: Use GPS or maps to plan your route ahead of time. Identify rest stops, gas stations, and points of interest.
  • Avoid Peak Traffic: Try to travel during off-peak hours to reduce the likelihood of encountering heavy traffic.
  • Weather Check: Check the weather forecast for your route and destination to avoid driving in severe conditions.

5. Drive Safely and Responsibly

Adopting safe driving habits is essential for a smooth journey:

  • Buckle Up: Ensure all passengers wear their seatbelts at all times.
  • Observe Speed Limits: Stick to posted speed limits and adjust your speed based on road conditions.
  • Stay Alert: Take regular breaks to avoid fatigue. Never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Avoid Distractions: Keep your focus on the road by minimizing distractions such as mobile phones and eating while driving.

6. Stay Hydrated and Cool

Heat can affect your concentration and overall well-being:

  • Drink Water: Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout your journey.
  • Use Sun Protection: Wear sunglasses and apply sunscreen to protect yourself from UV rays.
  • Keep the Cabin Cool: Use sunshades and keep the AC running to maintain a comfortable cabin temperature.

7. Monitor Your Vehicle’s Performance

Pay attention to any changes in your vehicle’s performance during your trip:

  • Watch the Gauges: Keep an eye on the temperature gauge and other dashboard indicators.
  • Listen for Unusual Sounds: Strange noises can indicate mechanical issues. Address any concerns promptly.
  • Check the Tires Regularly: Inspect your tires for pressure and condition, especially during long trips.


Summer travel can be an enjoyable and memorable experience when you prioritize safety and preparation. By performing a thorough vehicle inspection, maintaining your air conditioning system, packing an emergency kit, planning your route, and adopting safe driving habits, you can ensure a safe and stress-free journey. At Old Town Auto Service, our ASE certified technicians are ready to help you prepare your vehicle for summer travel, ensuring it’s in top condition for the road ahead. Enjoy your summer adventures and travel safely!