How to Get Your Vehicle
In Shape for Summer

What would summer be without road trips? With just a little preparation, you can keep on the sunny side and help lower your chances of a breakdown or accident along the way. (Of course, if you do find yourself in a collision, we’ve got your back.) That said, here are some simple tips for maximizing the fun and minimizing the pitfalls of summer driving season.

Get service before you go

To ensure your vehicle’s road trip readiness, visit your local dealer for an oil change, tire rotation and multi-point inspection. Or, if you decide to take it on yourself, make sure to check the following:

  • All fluid levels
  • Cooling system
  • Tires (including pressure, tread wear, spare and jack)
  • Air conditioning
  • Alternator and electrical system
  • Belts and hoses
  • Wiper blades
  • Headlamps, taillamps and all accessory lights

Pack an emergency roadside kit

No matter how ready you think you are, it’s always smart to have roadside emergency supplies, just in case. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Jumper cables
  • Basic repair tools and duct tape
  • Work gloves/work clothes
  • Tire pressure gauge
  • First-aid kit
  • Flashlight
  • Flares
  • Maps
  • Extra charged cellphone battery

Look out for construction season

You’re not the only one taking advantage of the warm weather, so be sure to obey all traffic laws and speed limits. Slow down when weather and traffic call for it. What’s more, summer is road construction season in most states. Be extra attentive in the orange barrel zones, which are usually marked with lower speed limits – not just to protect you and your passengers, but for the construction workers on the road as well.

Practice constant vigilance

Distractibility has never been higher, especially on the road. In fact, one out of every four car crashes in the U.S. is caused by cell phone distraction. Not only is texting and driving not worth it, but it’s also illegal in 47 states. So, do yourself and your fellow drivers a favor: wait until you stop before returning that text.

Another important hazard to heed is road fatigue. When you’re feeling drowsy, there’s nothing wrong with asking another passenger to drive. Or if you’re driving solo, take periodic rest stops, stretch your legs, get a bite to eat and recharge. In the same vein, it’s often smart to break up a lengthy one-day drive into two and stay overnight in a hotel. What’s most important is getting to your destination, not how quickly you get there.

Think safety first – and last

Taking these measures will certainly help you stay safe on the road this summer, but accidents can still happen. If you are in a collision, it’s crucial that you find the right techs and the right repair shop. As a Ford owner, you should always insist on Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts from Ford. It may be as simple as asking the repair shop to use only Original Ford Parts, depending on your insurance coverage. For more information, visit https://collision.ford.com/driving-tips today.

Check out https://www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety for more useful summer travel tips, and happy driving!

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