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Road trip tips for drivers traveling long distances

Many California residents take road trips during the summer to hike upstate or do wine-tastings in Sonoma. If you’re looking to travel a long-distance within California or even across the country, you’ll save a lot of money on travel expenses.

However, it’s important to make sure the money you save doesn’t end up costing you in a car accident. To make your ride fun and safe, keep these long-distance travel tips in mind.

Visit a mechanic before you go

Before heading out on your trip, it’s a good idea to get a routine inspection of your car. A mechanic can check the brakes, tires, filters, oil and fluids in your vehicle to make sure you won’t have any mechanical issues during the trip.

While you may pay a minor fee for these small maintenance jobs, the expense outweighs the risk of a more costly repair or accident.

Check your gas gage

If you’re used to driving in the city, there’s always a gas station within reach. That means you may be used to stopping for fuel only when your gas light comes on.

While traveling long distances, however, you may not be able to reach a gas station if you wait until the gas gage hits “E” to make a stop. Running out of gas on a fast highway can be a danger to other cars and yourself in more than one way. Stay safe by filling up as soon as you have less than a quarter of a tank left.

Know when to use cruise control

Using cruise control is a great way to keep from getting a speeding ticket and take away some of the muscle strain of long-distance driving. However, it’s important to be perceptive to when it’s not beneficial to use cruise control.

The best time to use cruise control is when the following circumstances apply:

  • The weather is fair
  • The roads are in good condition
  • Traffic is sparse — there aren’t many cars on the road or directly in front of you
  • The speed limit will be consistent
  • You will be traveling this direction for many miles

If the roads do not meet these conditions, using cruise control may make driving more difficult for you.

Remember there’s no rush

Some drivers try to tackle a long-distance drive from start to finish, while others speed to make up for time lost during fuel breaks. To keep your drive safe and fun, avoid falling into either of these pitfalls.

Speeding can result in a ticket or an accident while driving without a break causes fatigue. Stay a safe and alert driving by following speed limits and taking regular breaks throughout your trip. During these breaks, you can switch-drivers, stretch, use the restroom and re-energize with water and snacks.

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