Road Trip Hacks: Avoiding Mishap

When it comes to visiting friends and family, for a lot of people that means it’s time for a road trip. Going to see family and friends can be a lot of fun, but getting there may take a while. A lot can happen while you’re on the road for many hours, so it’s important be ready. In that case, these road trip hacks can go a long way to getting you prepared...

Road Trip Hacks: Safe and Convenient Travels

Bring the Charger

Most important of all road trip preparation, is to bring the charger. At some point during the ride, a device will need a charge. If you’re traveling with others, they may use the same charger as you. So, try bringing a multi-port charger. That way everyone can use their own cord, at the same time. In addition, be sure not to leave the house without your phone charger. For most people, their phone serves as their main GPS. You want to make sure it doesn’t lose it’s charge. Furthermore, consider purchasing a solar, or battery, powered device for when all else fails. 

Bring a Map

Next on the list of road trip hacks, bring a map. No matter how reliable you feel your phone is, it’s best to have a physical copy of a map. While this might seem old school, you never know what could happen. You could break your phone, lose it at a rest stop, or just lose battery power. For this reason, you should have a back up in the form of a physical map. In an emergency, this could come in handy.

Leave the Suitcases

Instead of carrying a large suitcase, try bringing a duffle bag. These are soft and pliable, making them much easier to pack. In addition, they tend to be much lighter than a suitcase. Therefore, this will help reduce the weight in your car on your road trip. Plus, if you have to store bags inside the vehicle, this bag will be much more comfortable for passengers than sitting beside a big suitcase.

Bring an Emergency Kit

Last on the list of road trip hacks, you should bring an emergency kit. This should include basic tools such as a flash light and screw driver. Also, include some duct tape and super glue in case you need to patch something quickly. Not to mention, you may want to include an empty gas can in case you end up needing fuel. As a rule of thumb, you should also always include a spare tire and tools to change it in your emergency kit.

In short, road trip hacks are all about preparing for the unexpected. So much can happen while you’re on the road that you can’t prepare for everything. But you should do your best to be ready for an emergency.

Common Motorcycle Problems

As all bikers know, motorcycles come with problems. Any hobby vehicle, actually, will have a problem or two at some point. Sometimes, you have a problem occur that is uncommon and unheard of. However, other times, you have one of the common motorcycle problems that riders face every day. Check to see if your problem is one of the common ones!

Common Motorcycle Problems & Prevention

Tire Wear

You should always check your tire pressure before you ride. If you have improper tire pressure, you could cause your tires to wear out too quickly. In addition to this, you should check the tread on your tires. One of the common motorcycle problems riders face can be simply traced back to the tires on the motorcycle. Because the tires take all of the pressure from the bike, they need to be checked often and thoroughly.

Chain Lubrication Problems

A defective chain could cause you to have a major accident, causing harm to you and the bike. Having a properly lubricated chain will avoid chains breaking or the drive train locking up. Chains snapping are amongst the most dangerous of the common motorcycle problems riders face daily.

Dirt and Debris

If your bike is running poorly, give it a good cleaning. One of the most common motorcycle problems is also one of the easiest to fix. Check your maintenance manual first, but it could be as simple as cleaning a spark plug. Sometimes they just need a good clean to make it run smoothly again. This can also help if the bike is not starting.

Batteries

Motorcycle batteries have a short lifespan compared to other vehicular batteries. Because of this, it ranks high on the light of common motorcycle problems. Make sure you are charging your battery at the end of each ride. Your owner’s manual will also have tips on how to keep it charged.

Fuel System

Replacing the hoses on your fuel-injected motorcycles regularly will keep them from drying out and cracking. Just like with anything, proper and routine maintenance will keep you from facing the common motorcycle problems that every rider faces.

Designated Driver: Take Your Turn

We all try and take steps to be a good friend to the people we love. Whether that means being there when our friends need us, answering calls, or delivering food when sick. Everyone’s love language is a little bit different. But, there will come a time in every friendship where we will have a choice to make: who is going to be the DD this evening? We’re all going out, we all want to have fun, but someone has to get us home safe. Your friend Sara did it last time, so it’s your turn. Being a designated driver is difficult for a number of reasons, but there are a lot of unsung benefits to taking this route, versus taking an Uber or risking the drive home… 

Designated Driver: The Benefits

1: You save money 

Going out for a night of drinking with friends can be a ton of fun. You drink, you dance, laugh, and have a great time with friends. While nights like these are always fun, they can also be quite expensive. Between buying drinks, ordering Ubers, and the inevitable drunken snack— the cost adds up quickly. While you likely have fun money set aside in your budget, you don’t want to spend it all in one place. This is where being the designated driver can really be useful to your finances. 

2. Avoid Hangover 

One of the worst things about drinking, is your body taking revenge the day after. You wake up with a headache, stomach ache, and not wanting to drink ever again. However, when you decide to be the designated driver, you aren’t drinking. And I shouldn’t have to tell you how not drinking can prevent even the nastiest of hangovers…

3. Keep friends safe 

One of the best things about being the designated driver, is you know for a fact that your friends are going to make it home safe. Because, well, you’re the one ensuring their safety. While you don’t want to be the responsible one on your weekend, there are some pretty inevitable upsides. Not to mention, your friends will be eternally grateful. 

4. You won’t have to do it next time 

Lastly, and most importantly, by taking on the DD responsibilities, you know that you won’t be the one stuck with the duty next time around. Plus, if you have a large group of friends, you might not have to do it for quite a while. 

Being a designated driver can seem like all downsides, but when you think about it— there are a lot of good things about taking your turn behind the wheel on a Friday night.

Little Known Traffic Laws

We’ve all heard about some wacky laws. For example, you can only have silly string in a private home in a part of Connecticut, not in public. Little known traffic laws in South Carolina are a little less silly, but still sometimes come as a surprise to some. If you’re a South Carolinian or going to be visiting the state soon, make sure you know about these laws to prepare yourself!

Little Known Traffic Laws: South Carolina

Bumper Stickers

This is one of the extremely helpful little known traffic laws for those crossing the South Carolina border. In the state, it is illegal to have bumper stickers on your car that display “obscene or indecent” words or pictures. If written a citation for this, the fine could be up to $200. Don’t worry, though. This citation is rare.

Emergency Vehicles

You must pull over to the far lane for emergency vehicles. While this is probably the more popular of the little known traffic laws we are discussing, it’s very important. If you cannot pull over, you must slow down. The fine for failing to do so can cost anywhere between $300 and $500.

Motorcycles and Red Lights

If you ride a motorcycle and have found yourself waiting at a red light too long, you’ll be happy to hear about little known traffic laws that let you break the law, kind of. If you are waiting at a red light and it has failed to turn green after 120 seconds, you may proceed with caution and proceed. Keep in mind, if your action causes an accident, you’ll be found at fault. This will come with a $100 and four points on your license.

Slow Traffic

It is illegal to drive slowly in the left lane. Specifically, this is one of the little known traffic laws that actually prohibits you from stayingin the left lane. Slower traffic must stay in the right lane to keep from traffic building up behind both lanes.

Some little known traffic laws are not actually laws. For example, you should pull over for funeral processions as a courtesy, but it’s not a law. Similarly, driving with headphones in is not illegal, but dangerous. These actions will not get you a ticket, but out of respect or safety, it is best to avoid these behaviors.

Pet Safety In The Car: Keeping Them Safe

While we all like spending time with our pets, they can become a safety risk when in the car. Pets can become distractions when driving with them, and of course distracted driving is pretty unsafe. That’s why pet safety is important for any pet-having driver to know. This knowledge will help you keep both yourself and your pet safe when on the road…

Pet Safety: How To Drive With Them

Keep them restrained

It can feel a bit mean to restrain you pet while in the car. However, an unrestrained pet is both a risk for you, and at much more of a risk themselves. Unrestrained pets can get in the way of your driving, causing an accident. Plus, these unrestrained pets can end up either being injured by air bags, or flung from the car in an accident.

Therefore, a large part of pet safety is keeping them secure. There are some options here for how you can do this. For example, you can buy special pet seat belts which will keep them secured in the seats. You can also get a pet carrier for them. However, always make sure they ride in the back, as the front seats are too dangerous even with restraints. 

Feed them beforehand

Another important part of pet safety is making sure they’re ready for the trip. Pets can get carsick just like us. Of course, it’s pretty distracting if someone gets carsick and potentially throws up out the window. Pets. however, will probably end up throwing up in your car, creating a pretty big distraction.

It helps to make sure that you feed your pet before your trip begins. Feeding them about 3 to 4 hours beforehand helps to do the trick. You’ll also want to bring extra food and water for them just in case. Make sure to let them out as well when you stop, so they can do things like go to the bathroom.

Don’t leave them in the car

​You’d think that people would know not to leave their pets in locked cars. However, as seen by people who still do it, it’s an important part of pet safety that gets overlooked. Cars can heat up very quickly, especially in the summer. This can quickly become fatal if your pet is left alone for a long period of time. Therefore, if you can’t bring your pet inside with you, it’s best to leave them at home instead.

Car Maintenance

If there’s one thing any driver hates, it’s car problems. Car issues can lead to potential breakdowns, and some seriously costly repairs. However, performing some good car maintenance can really help keep your car in good shape. Doing so will help save you headaches and cost in the future…

Car Maintenance: Keep Your Car Going

Check your tires

It’s very easy to take your tires for granted. However, it turns out that 738 accident-related deaths were caused by poor tires in 2017 alone. Therefore, it’s important not to neglect your tires. Instead, you want to regularly check them for issues as part of your car maintenance, both the obvious and the harder-to-spot kinds. 

First, check for anything like screws, nails, or tears which weaken your tires and lead to leaks. It also helps to check your tire pressure once a month, and get it up to its proper level if needed. Tire rotations also help improve your tread life, and should be done every 6,000-8,000 miles.

Inspect the oil & other fluids

Drivers also tend to gloss over their car’s fluids, but they’re a key part of proper car maintenance. Your oil, for instance, is crucial for keeping your engine running right. Therefore, it helps to check it every month or so to see if it’s time for a change.

However, your car has other fluids besides oil. Remember, you have power-steering, automatic transmission, wiper, and break fluids as well. Try to give these fluids a look each time you check your oil.

Other components

There’s a lot of different components that go into your car that you’d want to look over as part of your car maintenance. For instance, your lights are very important for safely driving, so check them out to see if they still work and aren’t burnt-out or cracked. Don’t forget about checking your windshield wipers too.

Of course, you’ll want to check the internal core parts too. While you don’t have to do anything crazy, simply keeping your battery free of corrosion and cleaning your radiator can go a long way. For those harder-to-reach areas, it helps to bring your car to an auto shop and have them check things out for you.