Shorter days and longer nights mean that fall is coming. Soon, your easy breezy summer morning commute will be a thing of the past as kids, big and small, start trekking off to school.
As schedules get busier, though, so do the roadways, so what’s the best way to make sure that you and your car are in fine driving form and ready for the back-to-school routine? These tips will help you get the kids to morning class plus hockey, dance or band practice, too, safely and on time.
Slow ‘er down
September 1 is when lower speeds are put back into practice when driving around schools and school playgrounds. Official school zones often start before you can even see the school, so look out for those road signs to ensure you don’t get a whopper of a speeding ticket and everyone gets to class safely.
Also watch out for crosswalks in these areas because they’re not always staffed with a crossing guard in a vivid shade of orange or yellow.
Watch for bouncing balls
It’s a cliché, but sometimes kids really do run out from between cars to catch that runaway ball. It’s a good policy to slow down around all playgrounds and on neighborhood streets—particularly right after school—when you see a few little ones out and about.
Look under the hood
Replenishing your fluids does not only apply to the eight cups of water a day, our bodies need to run effectively. Fall is a good time to check that your car is also getting the fluids it needs to stay healthy.
This includes looking under the hood to see what the status is with your car’s engine oil in addition to its brake, transmission and power steering fluids. Have a peek at your owner’s manual to see where to find everything and what levels should be maintained. If you’re not a do-it-yourselfer, take it to a qualified mechanic and ask to have the fluids checked.
Always be prepared
Not just a good motto for boy scouts, these are good words to live by in general as well as when it comes to your safety in your car.
Tires should be one of the first things to check to ensure your car is ready to haul the little ones to-and-fro during this busy season. Make sure the tread is wearing well and that the tire pressure is good. Your handy owner’s manual most likely will tell you what to aim for or you can often find a sticker with the info inside the glove compartment, inside the driver’s door or on the center console. And don’t check the pressure when the tires are hot from the driving workout you’ve put them through; the pressure needs to be checked after the car has been sitting for a while.
While you’re at it, have a look at your spare tire to see if it’s in good shape, and make sure you’re equipped with a lug wrench, jack and jumper cables.
An emergency road kit and an extra plug for your cell phone is always a good idea, too. No one will fault you for being on top of things.
If you are in a collision, Boyd Autobody & Glass can help to repair your vehicle and get you safely and quickly back on the road.