I thought I would share some information published by the CAA.

Given Canada’s 150th anniversary and the low dollar, the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) expects a large number of drivers to take a road trip within the country this summer.

“Canada has some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world and one of the best ways to experience them is by driving,” says Jeff Walker, vice-president of public affairs for CAA National. “There is no doubt Canadians will be taking plenty of road trips this summer.”

Last summer, CAA helped 750,000 Canadians from the roadside, the majority of which involved battery problems, tire issues, or people locking their keys in the vehicle. Almost half of those calls were not a simple fix and required the car be towed to a second location for additional assistance.

A recent survey found that two-thirds of car owners have never had their car battery tested, and one out of five drivers do not know how to change a tire. Summer takes a toll on vehicles, causing overheating engines, tire blowouts and dead batteries.

As the road trip season kicks off with the first long weekend of the summer, Hollis Ford offer the following tips to plan a safe and stress-free summer road trip:

Summer is a busy time for most popular Canadian destinations, so it is important to plan ahead.
Bring your vehicle in for an inspection a few weeks before your trip. Have the oil changed, fluid levels checked, battery tested, and tires inspected. This will help catch any issues with the vehicle, and if there are any, there will be plenty of time to get them repaired.
Pack emergency supplies including a flashlight with extra batteries, a first-aid kit, water and non-perishable foods, a basic toolkit with a tire pressure gauge and wrench, windshield washer fluid, jumper cables, and emergency flares or reflectors.
Avoid a lockout by bringing a spare set of keys and keeping them separated from your set or giving them to another passenger. Avoid exposing keyless-entry remote or smart keys to water and remember to replace the battery when recommended by the vehicle manufacturer.
Ensure documents are up-to-date, including driver’s licence, licence plate stickers, vehicle insurance, travel insurance, etc.

In addition to being prepared, here is some basic easy to follow advice to keep everyone safe:

Reduce distractions while driving. If you are driving with someone designate texter and ask them to answer all phone calls and text messages. If you are driving alone, before you leave let friends and family know you will be driving and won’t be able to take calls or text.
Never drive while impaired by drugs and/or alcohol.
Slow down and move over for emergency vehicles, including police, ambulances, firetrucks, and tow trucks. It is the law in most provinces across Canada and it is a safe driving practice.
If your vehicle breaks down pull out of traffic, if possible. Pulling off the road will decrease the chance of your vehicle being hit. Remember to turn on your emergency hazard lights to increase visibility.
Don’t drive drowsy. Get a good night’s sleep before driving and take frequent breaks to reduce driver fatigue.

Hollis Ford is a CAA and AAA Approved Auto Repair Service Facility. Please keep us in mind on any of your service needs and have a safe and enjoyable vacation this summer.

Shelley McLellan
Shelley McLellan
Hollis Ford
Service Manager