2010-06-24 / Local & State

PennDOT Reminds Motorists To Plan Ahead For Summer Driving Season

Proper vehicle maintenance, trip planning key for safe

summer travels


With temperatures expected to soar back into the 90s this summer, PennDOT is reminding motorists of the importance of preparing your vehicle for the rigors of summer driving.

“We want everyone to enjoy their summer travel,” said PennDOT Secretary Allen D. Biehler, P.E. “Taking preventive steps now will help to avoid problems or breakdowns on the road. We also encourage people to drive safely and plan ahead by using our 511PA service.”

To make sure your vehicle is in top condition, motorists should have a mechanic they trust perform a service check. A properly trained mechanic will inspect the battery, belt, hoses, air-conditioning system and tires to address any potential problems before they cause a breakdown.

There are also a few things that drivers can do on their own to help ensure fewer vehicle related problems this summer, such as:

Regularly check tire air pressure and tread wear.

Replace wiper blades that are frayed or streaking.

Be sure the windshield washer reservoir is filled with a summer fluid that helps remove bugs and road grime.

Be certain that all lights are working.

Check the pavement under the vehicle after it has been parked and report any suspicious fluid leaks to your mechanic.

Once your vehicle is prepared for summer travel, it’s wise to prepare yourself and your family for any long trips. Motorists can visit www.511PA.com or call 511 before they leave home to receive information on construction or other delays on interstates and major roadways.

Keep an emergency kit in your vehicle that includes water, nonperishable food, a cellphone and charger, batteryoperated fans and any other specialized needs such as baby supplies, pet food or medication. In case of a breakdown, remember to never leave children or pets unattended in a vehicle since even on a relatively cool summer day, temperatures inside a vehicle can rise quickly.

For motorists planning long trips, follow some of these tips:

Try to travel in the morning or evening hours when it is cooler.

Get plenty of rest the night before and rotate drivers to avoid fatigue.

Take frequent breaks, which also help young children traveling with you.

Focus on the road and avoid all distractions, including cellphones.

Make sure everyone is buckled up and children are properly restrained in child safety seats.

Be patient and obey the speed limit, and especially when traveling through work zones.

More information on highway traffic safety can be found at www.DriveSafePA.org.

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