Plan Ahead: Make Your Next Road Trip As Safe & Stress-Free As Possible

Day trips and road trip travel remain one of the safer travel options for people to enjoy during the pandemic (CNW Group/CAA South Central Ontario)

THORNHILL: As restrictions in Ontario continue to ease and more people head out on the roads, CAA South Central Ontario (SCO) is encouraging drivers to plan ahead to ensure road trip travel is as safe and stress-free as possible.

“People are looking forward to getting out of the house now that some restrictions related to COVID-19 are lifting, but it is important that we remain focused on safety and proper preparation,” said Tony Tsai, vice president, communications & services, CAA Club Group.

“Day trips and road trip travel remain one of the safer travel options for people to enjoy, as long as people are taking the proper precautions.”

Road Trip Travel Tips:

• Planning is more important than ever. When looking for places to stay, search for hotels with free or flexible cancellation policies.

• Check local and provincial public health updates and local news for up to date information on COVID-19 cases and continue to do so while on the road.

• Double check the website of your destination. Some cities or regions may still have restrictions or closures in place for people out of the area.

• Be sure to pack face coverings, gloves, cleaning supplies, like disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer, and a thermometer.

• If you can’t find gloves, bring some plastic sandwich bags. They can serve as an effective barrier between your hand and a fuel pump handle, doorknob, hotel remote control, etc.

• Also, consider packing extra snacks to reduce the need to stop at restaurants – which may not be open or might be operating at reduced capacity.

• Call ahead to restaurants and attractions to understand capacity limits and where possible make reservations in advance.

• If you choose to eat-in, consider wiping down your table with a disinfectant wipe. Use hand sanitizer after interacting with servers or cashiers.

• Drive-thru or curbside pick-up might be quicker and will reduce contact with other people.

• If you need to use a restroom, try not to touch anything. Use gloves or a plastic sandwich bag as barriers between your skin and surfaces. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer when you leave.

• Enjoy the great outdoors, pack a picnic and if possible eat outside to help reduce contact.

Six ways to prep your car before you hit the highway:

1. Check your headlights, brake lights and turn signals to make sure they are working properly. If you have kids, teach them about road safety by involving them in the process.

2. Top up your fluids and change your oil if you are close to your regularly scheduled appointment.

3. Check your tire pressure to improve your vehicle’s handling and extend the life cycle of your tires.

4. Clean your windshield, inside and out, and replace worn wiper blades.

5. Replace any frayed or worn hoses and belts.

6. Have a professional test your car battery and replace it if it’s weak. CAA Battery Service will test, boost or replace your battery.

If you become stranded or are involved in a collision:

• Don’t panic, try to stay calm.

• Dial 9-1-1 if someone is injured or if there is significant damage to any of the vehicles involved.

• All collisions resulting in property damage to vehicle(s) exceeding $2,000 must be reported to police.

• If it is safe to do so, move the vehicle(s) to the side of the road.

• Record all the details of the collision and exchange information.

• If your vehicle needs to be towed to a Collision Reporting Centre (CRC), contact your insurance company before signing or authorizing any towing.

• If you are insured with CAA Insurance, we will arrange for the pick-up and towing of your vehicle from the CRC to a repair facility.

About CAA South Central Ontario

For over a hundred years, CAA has been helping Canadians stay mobile, safe and protected. CAA South Central Ontario is one of nine auto clubs across Canada providing roadside assistance, travel, insurance services and Member savings for over 2 million members.