Tips for a stress-free Holy Week road trip

Posted at 04/16/2014 10:39 AM | Updated as of 04/16/2014 10:51 AM
Rest stops are also a perfect opportunity to switch drivers. Photo: Handout

MANILA - Hitting the road for the Holy Week has become an annual tradition for most Filipinos, but with the recent number of road accidents, it is important for families to remind themselves of some safety tips before heading out.

"We get so excited when we go out of town with friends and family, that sometimes we miss out on preparing ourselves for long hours on the road," said Malou Espina, Total Philippines Corporation vice president for marketing and communications.

Here are some tips:

First off, check the vehicle. It is crucial that before hitting the road to ensure that the car's engine, battery, windshield wipers, and lights are properly working.

Inspect the tires and keep in mind to bring spares and a jack.

Do a fuel check. Since road trips are typically long, check if the car is due for an engine oil change. Ensure that the vehicle is properly filled with power steering, brake and transmission fluid, to avoid making unnecessary stops.

Keep a cool head. Test the air conditioning of the car. If it is not as cool as it should be, replace the coolant so everyone could enjoy the long, cool drive. Also, remember to bring water to prevent the engine’s radiator from overheating.

Carry an all-in-one emergency kit. It should, at the very least, include a flashlight, early warning devices such as cones or warning triangles, and jumper cables. One could also include a first-aid kit to the mix.

Get plenty of rest. Remember to have a good night’s sleep before the day of the trip to avoid fatigue and help one stay more alert and focused on the road.

Plan ahead. Before leaving home, plot a course and account for fuel stops in advance. Maximize these stops by stocking up on snacks, and adding more than enough fuel to the vehicle being used.

Rest stops are also a perfect opportunity to switch drivers.

Stick by the rules. Once on the road, basic driving rules should always be kept in mind. Follow all traffic rules and regulations, such as traffic lights and speed limits.

Remember to always wear a seatbelt while on the road.

And last but not the least, be a defensive driver. Maintain a safe distance from other vehicles, especially when in freeways and highways. Utilize turn signals when making a turn, changing lanes or going to a full stop.