1. Make sure you have kept your car maintained
-shocks and struts
I don't know that much about these things, but I do know that my brakes haven't been giving me a hard time or making any noise. My battery hasn't hesitated to start at all (it is summer so cold weather isn't a factor now). My car also handles fine on the highway, over bumps, and in curves.
2. Windshield Safety
-wiper blades that make full contact
- fill windshield wiper fluid
A windshield being clean is my biggest concern when driving. Having dirt no only can obstruct your view, but it can also fatigue your eyes. I always make sure my windshield wipers are in good shape and have filled my wiper fluid before leaving. I use the squeegee at gas stations throughout my road trip as well to keep the windshield clean. If it would suddenly rain a dirty windshield can become muddy, streaky, or difficult to shed water off.
3. Tire Safety
-emergency tire changing tools
Before your trip make sure your tread is thick enough (if you can't cover part of the head Lincoln on a penny it is too thin). You should also make sure that you have all of your tires inflated properly. If they are under-inflated you will have decreased gas mileage.
We all dread the idea of having a flat tire, but chances are you will very VERY glad you have a spare tire and the proper tools to deal with changing your tire when the event actually goes down. Make sure you have all the tools you will need just in case. Even if you aren't the one who physically changes the tire, at least you have what you need if a wonderful good Samaritan would offer to help.
4. Car Cleanliness
-spare tire access
-limited accident projectiles
When traveling, it is nice to have an environment you can be relaxed in-and for me clutter free is the way to get there. It is also important because if you would need to get your spare tire you don't want to have to unpack more out of your car than necessary. Another consideration to keeping your car clean is that you will help eliminate unnecessary injury if you would have to stop suddenly or get into a car accident. The less you have around you, the less can hit you or break.
5. Full Tank of Gas
This is pretty self explanatory, but it is nice to start your trip off on the right foot. You will better gauge when you will need to fill-up again. You might end up driving for a period of time where there is no immediately available exits with gasoline.
Don't forget to learn the traffic laws where you are traveling and drive safely! Speed limits and bans on cell phone use and texting while driving are all there for a reason!!!