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Ready for That Summer Road Trip? Make Sure Your Car Is Safe for the Highways

PITTSBURGH, June 24 -- Many families are busy making plans for the upcoming July 4 holiday weekend. In their haste to get the show on the road, many drivers simply overlook giving their vehicle a thorough safety inspection. Even those who remember the basics, such as tire pressure, fluid levels and belts, often miss some of the most important aspects of automobile safety.

This summer, PPG PROSTARS, a national alliance of certified auto glass professionals, have teamed up with the Car Care Council, a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating consumers about the importance of vehicle maintenance, to encourage drivers to check the components of the car that could affect their visibility.

"From a chip or crack in the windshield to misaligned headlights, there are many ways a driver's vision can be impaired," says Donna Wagner, director of the Car Care Council. She adds, "Highway safety begins with a driver who can see and be seen."

The Car Care Council recommends that drivers conduct a quick, 5-step safety inspection of their vehicle before taking a short road trip or an extended vacation.

WINDSHIELD. A chipped or cracked windshield can obscure your vision. Repair damage as soon as it occurs.

WIPER BLADES. Check windshield wipers to make sure they are soft and pliable, since a worn wiper can damage the glass. And make sure your windshield fluid reservoir is filled before you leave the driveway.

SIGNALS. Get in the habit of checking your turn signals, brake lights and emergency flashers. They are essential for communication and for roadside assistance.

HEADLIGHTS. Don't forget to check your headlights periodically. Make sure both high and low beams are operational, plus properly aligned.

REAR WINDOW. Anything that obstructs your rear view vision -- luggage, camping gear, strollers or bicycles -- can spell trouble. Although side mirrors help, they are a poor substitute for a clear view out the back window.

Remember your sunglasses! Many times sun visors don't provide enough coverage to shield your eyes from glare. Beware of substandard eyewear. It can distort your vision.

So, play it safe this summer. Take time to do a safety check of your vehicles before you take to the highway. And if a rock or flying debris chips or cracks your windshield, call 866-2THEPROS to locate a PPG PROSTARS Certified Auto Glass Technician nearest you. PPG PROSTARS can also provide you with a handy safety tips card for your glove compartment. Each card features clear windshield patches, which can be peeled and temporarily placed over the damage to keep the area clean and dry until you get it fixed. Just email

Car Care Council is a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating consumers about the importance of vehicle maintenance, repair and enhancements for safer, cleaner, better performing vehicles.