6 vehicle safety tips for the long weekend

Remind customers to check fluids, tires and the mechanics of their car, says State Farm Canada.

Before heading on that out-of-town drive this Canada day long weekend, remind your clients to check their vehicles and ensure safety.

“We see tragedies on our roadways virtually every long weekend,” said John Bordignon, media relations at State Farm Canada. “Drinking and driving, not wearing seat belts, an improper trailer hitch, loose cargo, and mechanical failure can all play a role in life changing circumstances.”

Bordignon told Canadian Insurance Top Broker June 28 that taking extra time to think and prepare for a trip can make all the difference when it comes to enjoying the ride and getting to a destination safely.

State Farm Canada provides the following tips for customers.

1) Fluids: Test the antifreeze/coolant. Be sure your engine oil has been changed recently and your transmission fluid is reddish-pink. (Engine oil should be changed every 5,000 km and transmission fluid every 70,000 km.)

2) Tires: If you’re still using winter tires, take them off. Winter tires have a much softer tread and will erode quickly in the heat. Check your air pressure every three fill-ups or once a month. Tire pressure can affect gas mileage, comfort and safety. Low or high tire pressure can be dangerous and cause blow-ups. Check the tread depth and look for uneven wear. Do not neglect the spare tire. Make sure it’s inflated and in good shape.

3) Mechanics: Check your engine hoses and belts for cracks and wear. Be sure your battery is in good condition and change your windshield wipers twice per year.

4) Cargo: Pack smartly. Cargo can move around easily, especially when negotiating turns or bumpy roads. Visibility is essential to safe driving; don’t place obstacles in your blind spots and try to keep your rear window clear.

5) Towing: Boats and trailers come with their own perils. Make sure what you’re hauling does not exceed your vehicle’s towing capacity. Look it up in your owner’s manual. Have a professional check your trailer hitch and safety chain. You could have your trailer pulled off the road if the police deem it unsafe. Be sure you have the proper exterior mirrors. Most factory mirrors are not designed for long, wide trailers that seriously reduce your visibility.

6) Emergency Kit: Keep a flashlight, flares and a first-aid kit in your vehicle. Jumper cables and a bottle of washer fluid come in handy too.

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