Local News

A round up of very useful car trip information

Motorists are being hit hard by high gas prices and are finding it harder to save money at the pump. By taking the time to gauge the condition of your vehicle and make the necessary repairs, costly breakdowns can be avoided.

Here are some car care tips you should not skip:

* Tire pressure: Under-inflated tires decrease fuel economy and wear the edges of their tread.
* Engine air filter: Check every six months or 7,500 miles. If you cannot see through it, replace it.
* Battery cables/clamps/terminals: Check for corrosion, slow engine cranking, dimming headlights. Clean and tighten battery connections if necessary.
* Windshield washer fluid: Check washer fluid monthly. Test washer spray nozzles for proper use.
* Motor oil: Consider using energy-conserving oil, with additives that increase fuel economy.

Emergency road kit
Keep these items in your car:
* Flashlight with extra batteries
* Window washer solution
* Cloth or a roll of paper towels
* Jumper cables
* Warning devices (flares or triangles)
* Drinking water and non-perishable snacks (energy or granola bars)
* First-aid kit w/rubber gloves
* Basic toolkit (screwdrivers, pliers, adjustable wrench)
Add the following to your emergency kit for summer travel:
* Umbrella
* Sunblock

Managing distracted driving

To help drivers keep their attention focused on the road, here are tips to minimize distractions:

* Stow electronic devices. Turn off your phone before you drive so you won’t be tempted to use it on the road. Pull over to a safe place to talk on the phone or to send and receive text messages or emails. Don’t text message, access the internet, watch video, play video games, search MP3 devices or use any other distracting technology while driving.

* Prepare kids and pets for the trip. Get the kids safely buckled in and situated with snacks and entertainment before you start driving. If they need attention during the trip, pull off the road safely to care for them. Similarly, prepare and secure pets in your vehicle before getting underway.

* Satisfy that craving off the road. Eat meals and snacks before getting behind the wheel, or stop to eat and take a break if you’re driving long-distances.

* Store loose gear and possessions. Stash away loose objects that could roll around and take your attention away from driving.

* Get your vehicle road-ready. Adjust seat positions, climate controls, sound systems and other devices before you leave or while your vehicle is stopped. Make sure your headlights are spotless so you can see everything on the road and every other driver can see you properly.

* Get yourself road-ready. Before you get behind the wheel, familiarize yourself with your vehicle’s features and equipment. Review maps and driving directions before departing.

* Dress for success before you get in the car. Your car isn’t a dressing room. Brush your hair, shave, put on make-up, and tie your necktie before you leave or once you reach your destination.

* Enlist passengers. Ask a passenger to help you with activities that may be distracting.

* Recognize driving requires your full attention. If you find your mind wandering, remind yourself to stay focused on the road.

Courtesy of http://calstate.aaa.com

Special to The Enterprise

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