Summer road trip travel and safety tips

Eclipse traffic on southbound Interstate 5 in Chehalis. (Credit: Trooper Will Finn)

Before you hit the road this summer, it’s important that you get your car checked because you don’t want to run into any problems during your travels.

Dave Armstrong is the Senior Manager at AAA Washington. He said you should check your tire pressure when the tires are cold in the morning.

If you check the tire pressure after driving, you will get an inaccurate reading. You will find the correct tire pressure for your car in the owner’s manual or a sticker on the door.

“When a tire is under-inflated, it’ll tend to wear more on the edges,” said Armstrong. “This is not uncommon if you don’t maintain your tire pressure.”

If a car is not aligned correctly, the tread on the tire is really worn out and it goes down to the tire cords. Armstrong said that’s a blow out waiting to happen.

If a tire blows out on the road,  you should get to the side of the road as soon as possible. Make sure you and your car are out of the way of traffic.

It’s important to pack an emergency kit with things you might need if you get stuck somewhere.

Here are some items Armstrong suggests:

  • Road flares
  • Plenty of snacks & water
  • Paper towels and a glass cleaner to clean the bugs off the windshield
  • Flashlight
  • Cell phone charger
  • Cooling towels

Armstrong said the most important thing about road safety is to know where you're going.

"If you're not familiar with the area make sure you've looked at a map carefully and you have your GPS working," said Armstrong. "You're not going from the fast lane at the last second and your cutting across all lanes of traffic to make that exit."

Armstrong said AAA will rescue over three million people on the road this summer because of car batteries, tire blowouts or locked keys in a car.