With students away at college, their cars are likely to gain more mileage than ever before. Many students elect to head back home on the weekends and on longer breaks, and thus the vehicles that they used to keep pretty much close to home are going to be pushed further than they previously have. With that in mind, students have to be ready to safely navigate highways, especially at night, and a new report explains how to do so.
The increased wear and tear that an automobile is going to experience on such jaunts can be overcome by paying careful attention to maintenance and upkeep. Running out of gas or getting a flat is one thing if you’re driving between a high school and a home a few blocks away; it’s quite another if that situation plays out on the interstate.
Have a sense of responsibility with the vehicle. The gas tank should remain at least half full anytime some form of interstate travel is necessitated. The air pressure in the tires, which often gets short shrift by first-time college students, needs to be kept at adequate levels as suggested by the owner’s manual. All fluids need to be topped off, oil changes should take place on a regular basis, and all other types of maintenance that can keep an automobile going should be carried out.
You must also prepare yourself for potential emergencies before you even head out on the road. Investing in some type of service like AAA can help make sure that you’ll be given assistance should your vehicle break down. When this does happen, have some supplies ready to go in case you’re stuck there for awhile. Stay put and wait for assistance, but think twice before unlocking your door for someone who can’t identify themselves as an emergency official or roadside assistance personnel.
College students also need to minimize distractions when navigating roads. If your journey is longer, and you’re not exactly sure of the way to go, get the route down in your mind before you head out. If you have to use a map, pull to the side of the road to do so, and also take precautions with any onboard navigation systems available in your vehicle. Don’t use your cellphone when the vehicle is in motion, as not only does this impede your abilities, but it’s illegal in California and could distract you from going the right way if you’re lost.
Finally, be especially careful at night, and know what to do if you ever feel threatened. If someone is following, tailgating, or just making you feel uncomfortable, don’t just pull over. Follow the signs to the nearest fire or police station, as anyone with less than honorable intentions would probably not be inclined to tail you there.