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NAPA's Checklist for Safe Holiday Travels

18 November 1998

NAPA's Checklist for Safe Holiday Travels
    ATLANTA, Nov. 18 -- The National Automotive Parts Association
(NAPA) offers the following checklist to ensure safe holiday travel.
    "A safe family road trip begins with car maintenance to avoid unexpected
repairs down the road," said Steve Handschuh, president of NAPA.  "It also
takes advance planning and preparation, which can prevent major glitches."
    NAPA recommends the following safety checklist.

    *  SUPPLIES -- The standard tool box, jack, and spare tire should be kept
in the trunk at all times.  If snowy conditions are in the forecast, snow
tires or chains should be included.  In addition, it's wise to carry a map,
car manual, emergency numbers, cell phone, flashlight, ice scraper, drinking
water, blankets, and walking shoes.  Don't forget to charge a cell phone the
night before leaving and to purchase new flashlight batteries.
    *  MAINTENANCE -- Tires, including the spare, should be checked and
inflated to the proper levels.  Tread can be checked by inserting a penny,
placing Lincoln's head in first, and if any part of his head shows, then the
tread has worn past its legal limit.  All six major fluids should be checked
before leaving, which include: oil, antifreeze, brake, transmission, battery
and windshield washer.  Good working windshield wipers are critical to allow
for proper vision during a winter down-pour or flurry.  Check lights to ensure
all bulbs are working.  It's also recommended that a car battery and charging
system performance be tested by an ASE-certified technician.
    *  PACKING -- Heavy items should be anchored down in the trunk or in the
back of the car.  Anything that's not buckled down in a vehicle can become a
high-speed projectile in a sudden stop or crash.
    *  SECURITY -- Traveling to unfamiliar destinations means families should
review proper safety procedures with their children, including always wearing
a seat belt.  This discussion is more effective if done at the dinner table
the night before leaving, rather than after an incident has occurred.  When en
route, be sure to lock all doors and remove the keys from the ignition when
parked, even if it's only for a quick rest stop.
    *  REST STOPS -- Drivers should take a break every two to three hours.
Ninety percent of car accidents could be avoided if drivers had been more
alert and able to react a second or two earlier.
    If a roadside problem occurs, travelers may call 1-800-LET NAPA to find
the closest NAPA AutoCare Center with ASE-certified automotive technicians,
and AAA members wanting a tow, may call 1-800-222-4357.