Your Thanksgiving Travel Safety Checklist: Ensuring a Safer Journey

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Your Thanksgiving Travel Safety Checklist: Ensuring a Safer Journey
By: Luke Shaff ~ 11/9/2023


As the leaves change and the air turns brisk, Thanksgiving draws near—a time for gratitude, feasting, and cherished moments with loved ones. For many, it’s also a time for travel. Before you pack up the car with pies and side dishes, a vehicle check-up is essential to ensure a safe journey. Here’s your comprehensive Thanksgiving Travel Safety Checklist.

  1. Brake Check
    The ability to stop effectively is paramount. Have your brakes inspected by a professional to ensure the pads, rotors, and brake fluid are all in top condition. Any squeaking or grinding noise should be addressed immediately.

  2. Lights and Signals
    As daylight dwindles, well-functioning lights are crucial. Test all your lights—headlights, brake lights, turn signals, and emergency flashers for visibility and safety.

  3. Wiper Blades and Windshield Fluid
    Inclement weather can strike unexpectedly. Check that your wiper blades are not worn out to maintain clear visibility. Top off your windshield washer fluid with a winter formula to prevent freezing.

  4. Tires: Tread and Pressure
    Your tires are your first contact with the road. Ensure they are properly inflated and the tread depth is adequate to handle wet or potentially icy/snowy roads.

  5. Battery Life
    Cold weather can be harsh on batteries. Have your battery tested to avoid being stranded with a car that won’t start.

  6. Emergency Kit Update
    An emergency kit can be a lifesaver. Stock it with a first-aid kit, blankets, extra clothes, non-perishable snacks, water, a flashlight with extra batteries, jumper cables, and anything else you might need in case of a breakdown or delays.

  7. Heating and Cooling System
    Ensure your car’s heater and defroster are working properly to keep you warm and keep your windshield clear.

  8. Fluid Levels
    Check all fluid levels, including engine oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, antifreeze/coolant, and power steering fluid.

  9. Belts and Hoses
    Have a professional inspect belts and hoses for wear and tear, as the last thing you want is a snapped belt or burst hose on the road.

  10. Plan Your Route
    Map out your journey, considering traffic patterns and potential weather conditions. Have an alternative route just in case.

Remember, the key to a stress-free Thanksgiving road trip is preparation. Take the time to ensure your vehicle is as ready for the holiday as you are. Safe travels, and Happy Thanksgiving!