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For many of us, Labor Day weekend is a final chance to hit the road and enjoy the last few days of summer. Unfortunately, this also makes it one of the year’s busiest times on the road. To help tone down your traffic woes, our experts at Caliber have fixed up some travel tips for the road ahead.

Tune Up Before Traveling
There’s no bigger bummer than a broken down car. The summer months are harsh on vehicles both inside and out, so be sure to perform a routine check of the tire pressure, engine, radiator and fluids. We recommend taking your ride in for a once-over by a maintenance professional to check these boxes all at once. However, even the most prepared travelers can hit a bump or two along the way. Investing in a vehicle emergency kit is a convenient way to make sure smaller issues don’t get in the way of your big weekend.

Don’t Drive Tired
Three-day weekends are notorious for tiring out travelers, especially since most people will depart at extreme hours to beat the traffic. Studies show that drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as drinking and driving, and it’s important to know when it’s time to take a break. Whether you’re a driver or passenger, you can help keep others safe by keeping an eye on red flags like trouble focusing, excessive yawning, head bobbing and drifting across lanes. To avoid these hazards entirely, try driving in shifts with others to ensure the good times keep rolling.

Beat the Traffic
Early mornings may seem out of place on the weekend, but they’re well worth it when you’re traveling. To potentially save hours on both your departure and return trips, try heading out before 7am. Depending on your location, statistics show that typical rush hour traffic could be as much as doubled on Friday and Monday afternoons, spelling trouble for anyone caught in it. To go the extra mile, try installing traffic-monitoring GPS apps like WAZE that can better predict slow-downs and point you on the right path to avoid them.

Protect Your Pets
A vacation isn’t the same without the whole family, those of the four-legged variety included. Contrary to popular belief, traveling with a pet by car involves more than just loading up and heading out. Just like your other passengers, pets should be safe and secure during the journey. We recommend bringing along a crate for the ride, and filling it with your pet’s favorite toys or pillows to give them a sense of familiarity. As cute as they are, animals can quickly become distractions when they’re given free range inside the cabin. By keeping them secured, you’re keeping everyone in the car and on the road safe.

Whether you’re going off the grid or out to the ballgame, traveling with these tips in mind should help lessen the stress of holiday trips to come. After all, Labor Day shouldn’t be a chore, and neither should finding a collision repair partner you can trust. If your road trip accidentally goes south, our collision repair experts will be at the ready to restore the rhythm of your life.

From all of us at Caliber Collision, safe travels this weekend!