A new year brings many resolutions. Eating healthier, exercising more or even frowning less! Have you thought about the unhealthy lifestyle your vehicle may be living? Now is the time to check your vehicle for proper functionality!
Whether a flat tire, overheated engine or broken engine belt, many Washington State motorists find themselves dealing with mechanical problems when traveling every year. Some even find their travels take an unexpected turn into wintery weather. There are a few things you can do to make your travels less stressful in 2015.
Before leaving on any road trip, inspect your vehicle and address any equipment concerns. Check tire tread depth, air pressure and vehicle lighting for safety. Not having properly inflated tires can result in vehicle damage and unneeded tire wear. Your chances of a collision also increase when tire maintenance is not followed by the manufacture. It is recommended you inspect and check tire pressures once a month when tires are cold. Don't forget to inspect the spare for cracks and proper inflation too!
After "kicking the tires," lift the hood and visually inspect fluid levels, hoses and belts for cracks or tears. Have these or any mechanical issues addressed before leaving. Staying updated on recommended maintenance should curb any last minute trips to the auto shop!
Be ready for wintery weather by stocking your vehicle with basic winter equipment like a scraper and brush, small shovel, jumper cables, tow chain and a bag of sand or cat litter for tire traction. Include road flares, a blanket, heavy boots, warm clothing, and flashlight with batteries.
To get current traffic conditions, including delays and roadway conditions, go to www.wsdot.wa.gov. You can also get real time weather and traffic by calling 511.
The Washington State Patrol is an active partner in the Target Zero program. The program is part of Washington's Strategic Highway Safety Plan, aimed to reduce serious injury and all traffic fatalities by 2030.