Preparation is the Key to a Safe Summer Road Trip


Planning a road trip? Be sure to check your auto insurance policy before you go.If yours is like many families, you look forward to summer vacation road trips.  When you take to the road, you’ll need to do a little preparation especially if you’re including small children.   Taking some precautions with your vehicle, packing properly and remembering to check your auto insurance policy will help make each road trip an adventure to remember for you and your passengers.  We've offered here a short checklist of things to help you avoid being stranded during your trip as well as some things to consider if you will be sharing the driving or using a car other than your own.

Check your vehicle thoroughly

Our friends at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) advise doing a complete inspection well in advance of your departure.  Be sure to check the following systems on your car, truck, SUV or van well in advance of your road trip.

  • Tires – air pressure, spare tire, wear on the tread
  • Wiper Blades – wear and tear on both driver’s and passenger’s sides
  • Fluid Levels — oil, brake, transmission, power steering, coolant, and windshield
  • Cooling System —coolant level and need for service
  • Belts and Hoses —fittings and signs of wear
  • Lights — headlights, brake lights, turn signals, emergency flashers, interior lights, and trailer lights, if any
  • Air Conditioning – function and cooling

 Will you share the driving with others during your road trip? 

If you be using your own vehicle, you will want to check with your auto insurance agent to be sure that you will be covered if someone else drives your car.  It is far better to be sure that you have the proper coverage in advance than to need it after an accident occurs and find that your insurance will not cover your claim.

Is renting a car in your road trip plans? 

It is possible that your current auto insurance policy will cover your use of the rental vehicle.  Moreover, the credit card company that issued the card that you will use to pay for the rental might also offer some reimbursement in the event of an accident.  However, to be sure that you have full insurance coverage without duplication, the best advice is to find out what coverages the rental company offers and what options the credit card company offers.

Then call your insurance agent to decide whether you need to purchase any insurance from the rental car company to supplement your current auto insurance coverage.   For more details and advice, see what the Insurance Information Institute (III) advises regarding car rentals and insurance.

Be prepared for roadside emergencies.

Savvy road trippers advise packing a roadside emergency kit just in case you become stranded while on the road.  Perhaps the most important item to take along is a cell phone, but be sure it is fully charged or have a charger on board. For navigation, consider a GPS device for navigation if possible; but, even with GPS guidance, you’ll want to include a map of your travel route as a back-up reference.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) suggests that your kit should include a flashlight, flares and white flag, jumper cable, work gloves, and basic repair tools as well as a first aid kit and non-perishable food and drinking water.

Plans Complete? Enjoy the trip.

Whether you plan your route and all your stops and activities in advance or take a more casual, decide-as-you-go approach, your road trip will be one to remember fondly if you prepare in advance.

Here at Schaefer & Delauder Insurance Services in Germantown and Frederick, MD, our experienced agents welcome your questions and can assist you by reviewing your current auto insurance policy and helping you to exploring your car insurance options. Why not contact us at your convenience?


Wednesday, 10 May 2017 18:44