March is here and the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) wants everyone to be safe and be aware as many head out for a well-deserved spring break road trip. Whether you are heading for the beach, mountains, family visits or to another city MDOT wants to offer some helpful advice to make the journey a more memorable one.
Pre-pare. As in before you even begin to pack, be sure to have your vehicle checked thoroughly. Here are a few pre-trip vehicle checks MDOT suggests:
· Check tires for tread wear and proper pressure.
· Check your battery.
· Make sure belts and hoses are in good shape.
· Replace your windshield wiper blades.
· Check all brake and head lights.
· Make sure your air conditioning is ready for the heat.
MDOT also recommends you equip your vehicle with a first aid kit, flashlight and basic repair tools. Another thing most people forget to bring along is a spare key and don't forget to keep it in a safe place; you never know when you might need it.
Pack for comfort. Be sure to take along things that help you and your passengers have a more comfortable trip.
· Plenty of water and snacks to keep everyone awake, hydrated and happy.
· Beverages with caffeine to combat driver fatigue.
· Blanket and pillow for passenger cat naps.
· Tissues, disinfectant wipes and paper towels.
· Sunglasses, sunscreen and an umbrella.
· Car chargers for cell phones, tablets and other electronics to keep restless passengers entertained.
Practice good behavior. This is not the time to be careless and reckless. Safety and courtesy on the road are important at all times.
· No distracted driving— texting, using your cell phone, eating, drinking, talking to passengers, anything that takes your eyes off the road is considered driving distracted.
· Buckle up…it's an old saying, but everyone in the car should always wear seatbelts.
· No drinking and driving. If you're going to drink, hand over the keys to a designated driver.
· Share the road—watch out for pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists, children and animals.