For the first time since 2019, many students will be headed out of town for fall break. In order to make it to their destination safely, there are a few important things to keep in mind, according to owner of Wilson Tire Pros and Automotive, Steven Moss. 

Tip #1-Take care of yourself

The first thing Moss recommends is that any student who is traveling for a long road trip should get a good night’s sleep, hydrate, and eat enough to sustain themselves.

“You need to be well rested, so that you're alert and you're not drowsy while you're driving. Keep plenty of healthy snacks and water, and stay hydrated,” Moss said. 

Tip #2- Keep supplies in your vehicle 

Moss said students should have supplies in their vehicle to be ready for any kind of scenario. He recommends that you travel with a blanket, a flashlight, a few healthy snacks, water, and a phone charger. He says a fully charged phone is your “lifeline” if there is a need to call assistance or get into contact with the person coming to pick you up. He also said to carry mace, if you prefer to have it. 

Tip #3- Take certain precautions before leaving 

Moss said there are a few steps you should take before hitting the road. He said having a mechanic simply look over your vehicle to make sure everything works properly could have a great impact on preventing an emergency. One of the things he emphasizes is making sure you have enough air in your tires because with cooler temperatures, comes a risk of losing air in your tires.

“Nobody has a crystal ball, we can't do anything to guarantee you won't have any issues, but we can do the best effort that we can to ensure that we go over the basics, and that you have the best storage you can,” he said. 

Something Moss also recommends is to plan your trip: know what stops you plan to make and how much gas you need to make it there. He said this is helpful and prevents you from breaking down or running out of gas with no gas station in site. This also comes with preparing for traffic and planning to not enter major cities, such as Washington D.C. or Baltimore, at peak times. 

Tip #4- Know what to do in an emergency

According to Moss, safety is important, both for yourself and your vehicle. If you get a flat tire on the highway or break down, Moss said to limp your vehicle to a safe area, whether that be an overpass or the shoulder. He said to also remain in your vehicle and do not get out to check the condition of your vehicle. Call for help, whether that be roadside assistance, or by calling your parents or insurance company. 

Write the number and name of the person coming to the scene in your phone or on paper and once help arrives, roll down your window, remain seated and verify that whoever has arrived on scene is the person who was supposed to be dispatched to come help you. Safety, to Moss, is the most important thing when on the road. 

“We can replace tires, we can’t replace somebody that is injured, so get off to a safe place on the road if there is an exit in sight,” he said. “The worst thing we want is for someone to get out of the car and get injured just trying to assess it or whatever. More than likely if it's a situation like that, there's not an easy thing most people can do in that moment at that time to fix it. They're going to have to wait for help inside your vehicle.” 

If you get in an accident, Moss said depending on the severity, turn the vehicle off and assess the situation and your surroundings to determine if it is safe enough for you to exit the vehicle. This is a case by case scenario, so if there is a fire in your vehicle, remove yourself from the situation.