Summer road trips in colorful Colorado can be full of adventure and scenery, unexpected delights — and unpleasant surprises. But a little planning ahead can boost the fun factor and reduce the risk of disappointment. Here are some tips from state and federal travel gurus that can make your journey smoother and safer.
GETTING YOUR RIDE READY
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends taking several steps to prepare your vehicle for summer driving conditions. A complete checkup, whether done by you or your mechanic, should include:
- Air conditioning. Is it performing properly?
- Belts and hoses. Check for bulges, blisters, cracks, or cuts in the rubber. Replace any that are showing obvious signs of wear.
- Fluids. Oil, coolant, transmission, brakes, power steering, and yes, windshield washer levels should all be topped off.
- Tires. Check for age, proper pressure level, any uneven wear, adequate tread. Place a penny in the tread with Lincoln’s head upside down; if you can see the top of Abe’s head, you need new tires.
- Batteries, lights, wiper blades should all be in good working order.
AVOIDING TROUBLE ON THE ROAD
One of the greatest summer driving hazards is heatstroke. Never leave pets or children alone in an unattended car, even for just a few minutes; you may think a cracked window on a “mild” sunny day (temperature in the seventies) is adequate, but the internal temperature of a parked car can reach deadly levels rapidly.
Proper planning can head off other problems. Don’t forget to bring along water, sunscreen, high-energy snacks, cell phone and charger, extra clothing and hats, and an emergency kit containing jumper cables and first-aid supplies. The Colorado Department of Transportation’s Travel Center can help you scout road conditions and identify routes you want to avoid.
If your destination is a popular one, call ahead to the local tourist bureau to find out the best times to visit to beat the crowds. Have a backup route in mind if your original plan goes awry. Even better, consider checking out some sights that don’t make everybody’s top-ten list; make an effort to get off the interstate and see some of Colorado’s scenic byways. You can build a trip around national parks, hot springs, roadside attractions, historic sites — the possibilities are as endless as the road ahead.
RESPECT THE TERRAIN
If your plans include getting on some hiking trails, be sure you have maps, navigational tools (your phone may not have a signal in the backcountry), food, water, bug repellent, extra layers of clothing, and other essential gear. Even a short day hike can be full of surprises, given the ever-changing weather in Colorado’s high country — or on the eastern plains, for that matter. Take time to review the basic survival tips every hiker should know, such as notifying others of your hike plans and not starting out too late in the day.
THE CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS AT FDAZAR
For more than thirty years the attorneys at Franklin D. Azar & Associates have helped thousands of injured people obtain complete and timely compensation for their losses. Our proven track record and expertise have allowed us to grow into the largest personal-injury law firm in Colorado, with offices in Denver, Aurora, Thornton, Fort Collins, Greeley, Grand Junction, Colorado Springs, and Pueblo. If you’ve been injured in a bus, car, truck, bicycle, or motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Please call the car accident attorneys at FDAzar day or night at 800-716-9032, or contact us here for a free consultation and no-obligation evaluation of your case.