By car on summer vacation: Starting the summer vacation in traffic jams and heat can be quite stressful. But don’t worry: it works very differently if you follow a few important tips before and during the trip. It is best to get into the car well-rested: “Anyone planning a long drive should get into the car rested. The mood should be positive and full of anticipation,” says traffic psychologist Thomas Wagner from Dekra. After all, those who drive off irritated and rushed are prone to rash and spontaneous actions that can easily lead to aggressive behavior. But not just the driver: the car should start fit into the summer vacation, too. With the following tips, nothing should stand in the way of your next trip.
INSURANCE CHECK BEFORE DRIVING ON SUMMER VACATION
If you want to go on summer vacation by car, it is better to check your insurance policy in advance – especially if you are going abroad. This is especially true for supplementary insurance, as it excludes certain risks such as theft in some destination countries. There are no EU-wide regulations. It is therefore advisable in any case to secure foreign damage protection through the so-called Mallorca Policy. That is because it ensures compensation at the domestic level. In addition, drivers should also have their green insurance card with them on their summer vacation, which lists all the important data.
CHECK THE CAR BEFORE GOING ON SUMMER VACATION
The condition of the tires plays an important role when driving on summer vacation. “In addition to checking the tread for damage and the tread depth, which should be at least four millimeters, the correct tire pressure is very important,” says Gerrit Reichel from the Automobile Club Verkehr (ACV). Depending on the load, it has to be increased by up to 50 percent. Information on how much air needs to be filled can be found in the operating instructions, in the fuel filler cap, or in the driver’s door entrance. Important: also check the spare wheel before starting your journey. If car drivers have a puncture repair kit with them instead, they should test the function of the compressor and replace the liquid rubber after five years at the latest. The right perspective is also essential for survival: A comprehensive inspection of windows, headlights, and windshield wipers is, therefore, part of the preparation for a trip. “Small stone chips can develop into large cracks while driving and brittle wiper blades leave broad streaks on the windshield,” warns Reichel. The fill level of the windshield cleaning system and the cooling system should also be checked before driving. And: Anyone who drives a modern diesel vehicle should remember to always have enough AdBlue with them.
CHECK FIRST-AID KIT AND SAFETY VESTS BEFORE GOING ON HOLIDAY
Before going on summer vacation, drivers should also check the contents of their first-aid kit. It is important to pay attention not only to the completeness but also to the expiry date, as the Federal Association of Medical Technology (BVMed) advises. This is especially true for sterile parts such as compresses and bandages. Because the printed date is exceeded, sterility is no longer guaranteed and exchange is due. But regardless of this, drivers should check the content regularly. The required equipment was supplemented five years ago – for example with a 14-piece plaster set, a bandage pack for children, and two cleaning wipes for the skin. If your children get bored don’t forget the gaming console for them while traveling.
GO ANTI-CYCLICALLY BY CAR ON SUMMER VACATION
Anyone who takes their car on their summer vacation should drive as countercyclically as possible. The majority of holidaymakers set off on Friday afternoon – the first traffic jams are then of course programmed. Drivers who are on their way abroad should, if possible, also use smaller border crossings, as things are usually much faster there. Traffic psychologist Thomas Wagner from Dekra also recommends acting on the principle of partnership when driving on summer vacation – i.e. seeing other road users as allies and not as opponents. This includes, for example, that one lets the other thread in and is considerate on the whole. “Today’s traffic density is perceived by many as a burden and constriction and thus stirs up negative emotions and promotes incorrect behavior,” says Wagner. Together, things go better on the car trip on the summer vacation than against each other.