Don’t ruin your first summer road trip – vehicle safety tips for Memorial Day driving
With the season of road trips upon us as we head into the Memorial Day holiday - an increasingly busy road travel weekend - millions of Americans will be packing up their bags, their kids and their cars to head out on their first hurrah of the season.
But driver beware: despite the nice weather, late spring and early summer includes some of the highest risk travel months according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Based on our analysis of over 3.3 million client roadside service dispatches during the summer months over each of the last few years, we’re offering drivers a few tips for making their first summer journey a success rather than a disaster:
- Beware of overheating. You’re about 50% more likely to need roadside assistance for overheating in summer than in the winter, so don’t forget to check your coolant before you head out… particularly if you’re driving in the mountainous states (WY, ID, UT, WV, MT and CO), where our data shows the most calls for assistance with this issue.
- Check your battery. Northeasterners, you’ll more likely need a jump-start than the rest of the country, so check that battery and make sure electrical accessories, like chargers, are powered down and unplugged when you shut off your vehicle.
- Keep up to date on services. Want to feel the wind in your hair? Before you take the convertible that’s been sitting in the driveway for the last 6 months out for a spin, make sure you get it serviced – a majority of roadside requests cite vehicles as inoperable.
- Fuel up, charge up. If you’re in California, don’t forget to fuel up, and fuel up often – whether that’s with gas or electricity. Drivers in the Golden State are the most likely to call for assistance after running out of gas and second most likely to need an EV charge (behind Hawaii).
- Stay aware of surroundings. The good news? There’s little chance of you needing roadside help due to vandalism. That said, always put away valuables or take them with you when you leave your car unattended.
- Be sure to plan ahead. High volume traffic means delays and the temptation to take detours or backroads. Determine your potential routes before leaving the house and if you need to use your phone, pull over in a safe area before doing so. In a recent study, we found the top 10% of drivers that manipulate their phones (e.g., sending texts, or fiddling with GPS) are eight times more likely to crash than the bottom 10%.
Remember, if you need a tow, or simple roadside assistance such as a tire change, call your insurance carrier (if you have roadside coverage), or the contact number for your vehicle manufacturer’s roadside program.
*Data reflective of Agero client geographic footprint.