As we head into the last stretch of summer, many parents and young adults are preparing for “back to school.” Whether your student is driving to high school for the first time, or a student heading out on your first solo road trip back to college, Osceola Garage wants to make sure that you and your student’s trip is stress-free and your car is ready to get you there. The National Highway Administration estimates traffic flow and congestion increases by 26% from August to September, and with that in mind, it’s even more important to focus on driving safely in a well-maintained car.
We know as parents your mind is filled with thoughts of your child and school lists, so here are some important pre-trip and on-the-road tips you can share with your young driver heading back to school (and maybe a few reminders to help your car as well).
- Freshen Your Fluids – making sure the basics are covered will go a long way for the longevity of your car. Change the oil, oil filter, air filter, coolant top off/flush.
- Check Your Tires – make sure the tread is in good shape, are properly inflated, and the wear pattern is within normal range. Read more about tire safety here.
- Lights Check – headlights, brake lights, and turn signals should all be in operable condition and headlight beam angle should be checked.
- Don’t overpack the Car – it’s tempting to fill every nook and cranny, but this poses extra risks for blind spots and can even reduce gas mileage and wear on the suspension depending on the weight. Share the load between vehicles if possible, or plan to buy some items once you arrive.
- Plan your Route – map out your main route and identify resting and eating stops. You should also become familiar with alternate routes in case construction, or inclement weather conditions make it necessary for you to take a detour.
- Check on your car’s emergency roadside safety kit.
- Charge your cell phone and keep emergency contacts in your glove box.
- Get a good night’s sleep before any long trip.
- Always have a full tank of fuel before leaving on a long road trip and never go below half a tank.
- Join a roadside assistance program (Osceola Garage offers free roadside assistance for all its customers)
On the Road Tips:
- Buckle Up
- Don’t Text & Drive
- Take Breaks for eating and to stretch your legs.
- Remember to lock up! College campuses and surrounding cities are not as safe a parent’s driveway. Remember not to leave your phone or laptop in your car and to always lock the car before going inside.
- Park Safely – park in a well-lit area, away from shrubs and bushes. Keep your keys in hand ready to enter the vehicle. Back in, if possible, for easier exiting.
- If you or your student need to pull over for an emergency, try to stop in a well-lit area with high foot traffic. If you’re on the highway, pull over as far off the road as possible. Put on your hazards and call your roadside assistance carrier and wait inside your car with the doors locked.
College Bound is a new and exciting adventure, but parting with your student can be exciting and terrifying at the same time. Make this new chapter of your life a bit easier by knowing your college student is safe because at Osceola Garage we are aware nothing means more to you than the safety of your family. That’s why we treat our customers like our family and make sure each car serviced by us, is covered with our free 24-hour roadside assistance.