If you’re planning on kicking off summer with a getaway, you’re not alone. In a recent survey conducted by Travelocity, almost 40% of Americans traveled over Memorial Day and 4th of July weekends, with 77% of them planning to travel by car. Before you hit the open road, be sure to start the summer travel season off right by preparing for your adventure. Spending some time getting ready will help ensure a safe, fun and stress-free road trip.
SERVICE YOUR CAR
- Check your filter and oil levels
- Top off all fluid levels, including coolant and windshield wiper fluid
- Change your air filter, if needed
- Check your tires, including the spare tire, for proper inflation
- Rotate tires, if you haven’t had it done for the last six months or 7,500 miles
- Inspect belts and hoses
- Test the battery and brakes
- Change transmission fluid if needed
PLAN YOUR ROUTE
In today’s digital world, planning your route can be as simple as pulling up an app or opening Google Maps. Take a few minutes to map your route ahead of time, then let a trusted friend or family member know exactly where you’ll be driving to and when you plan on getting there. In addition, check weather conditions and road closures along your chosen route before you leave.
PACK YOUR BAGS MINDFULLY
Besides the proper clothes, shoes, undergarments, toiletries and such – you should also have a bag filled with emergency supplies. And REMEMBER, summertime is hot and if you get stranded, you’re going to need WATER. Some other items you might need are:
- Jumper cables
- A properly inflated spare tire, lug wrench and jack
- A tire pressure gauge and a can of compressed air
- Roadside flares
- First-aid kit
- Tool kit
- Flashlight and batteries
- Duct tape
- A plastic tarp
- Bottled water and energy bars
- Hand sanitizer and wet wipes
- Plastic bags (for trash)
When you’re packing up the car, don’t put the emergency kit in first. Instead, wait until everything else is securely stowed before placing the kit in the trunk. That way, you can easily access it in case of an emergency.
IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY
If, despite your best efforts and pre-planning, you end up broken down on the side of the road, what should you do? First, pull your car to the side of the road and turn on your hazard lights. Put your car in park, set the emergency brake, and point the wheels away from the road. Keep your emergency contact numbers programmed into your phone so you can access them easily when
If you can safely get out, place flares about 50 feet behind your car to alert other drivers. Don’t, however, leave the car by the road while you’re waiting for help; generally, it’s safer to stay with your car than to be a pedestrian. If a stranger pulls over while you’re waiting for help to arrive, remain in the car with your doors locked. Roll the window down a bit and let them know help is on the way.
STAYING SAFE ON THE ROAD
When you’re on the road, remember every occupant needs to be buckled up at all times. Not only is this the law, but seat belts save lives… more than 12,000 a year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The safest place for kids under age 12 is in the back seat. Finally, if you feel fatigued, switch drivers or pull over to rest.
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Do You Need SR-22 Insurance?
If you have gotten your license suspended or revolked, you may require an SR-22 filing in order to drive legally again. The state of Virginia uses the SR-22 form to help protect its citizens against problem drivers by monitoring their insurance. It requires the auto insurance company to file the SR-22 form as a proof of a problem driver’s financial responsibility, stating that his/her auto insurance liability is in effect. The state does not send notifications and it is the responsibility of the driver and the auto insurance company to submit the form as well as the renewals, to the state, if required.
What Is A SR-22 Form?
There are three different types of SR-22 forms:
- The Operator’s Certificate covers the financial responsibility in the case the motorist does not own a vehicle.
- The Owner’s Certificate covers the financial responsibility for vehicles owned by the motorist.
- The Operators-Owners Certificate covers financial responsibility for all the vehicles that are owned or non-owned by the motorist.
When Is A SR-22 Required?
The SR-22 financial responsibility Insurance form is required in the following cases:
- In case of a driver’s license suspension as a result of a conviction for a major offense such as manslaughter while operating a motor vehicle, making a false affidavit during driver license application or vehicle registration, failure to stop at the scene of an accident that resulted in death or injury, or a second conviction for operating a passenger vehicle without a valid license.
- If you have any unsatisfied judgment suspensions. For example, if a driver involved in an accident in the past has an unsatisfactory judgment entered against him then he or she needs to fill the SR-22.
- In case of an uninsured motor vehicle suspension.
- Certain convictions such as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or driving with a suspended license will require filing of an FR-44. This is a more stringent version of the SR-22 under which the amount of minimum coverage is doubled.
Filing For The SR-22
- Contact a state-authorized insurance agency to request for a SR-22 filing.
- Pay the correct processing fee to the agency. The fee amount may vary between agencies. You can request an insurance quote from our Virginia auto insurance page and companies such as Esurance will allow you to request an SR-22 filing automatically.
- As per the State laws of Virginia, the minimum amount of coverage should be $25,000 for one person killed or injured, $50,000 for two or more persons killed or injured and $20,000 for property damage.
- Upon receiving the request from the agent the central office then sends the SR-22 directly to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. SR-22 filing may be carried out electronically, in which case your records will be updated almost instantaneously.
- The SR-22 has to be maintained for a minimum period of 36 months. If the motorist does not renew it at least 15 days before the expiration date the agency notifies the State. The State may then suspend the driving record of the motorist until the insurance is reinstated.
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If you own a car in Virginia, you must have car insurance to drive it. That’s a fact, and happens to be the very first reason you need car insurance on this top 10 list. HOWEVER, auto insurance is mostly about protecting you financially if something goes wrong involving your vehicle.
Take a look at the top 10 reasons you need car insurance:
- It’s the law. In almost every state, including Virginia, you must at least have liability car insurance or you’ll face criminal fines. Repeated offenses could lead to the loss of your driver’s license and even a jail sentence. As far as reasons go, jail is a pretty you need car insurance, don’t you think?
- Your car is an important asset. For many people, a car is the second-most-expensive purchase they will make in their lives, next to the purchase of a home. Vehicles are essential not just because they’re expensive, but also because of the service they provide to families. Car insurance is a way to protect that important asset.
- No New Car For You! If you try to purchase a new car that includes a loan, you won’t qualify if you don’t have a full auto insurance policy. Beyond that, you won’t be able to lease a vehicle either. Your lender will always want to be paid. If you have an accident and can’t afford to get your vehicle repaired because you don’t have car insurance, the company that provided you a car loan won’t stop asking for monthly payments. Car insurance is one way to help ensure that you can continue to make your car loan payments.
- Cars get you where you need to go when you need to get there. If you decide to skip auto insurance and then get into an accident and sustain damage you can’t afford to repair, you’ll still need to get to work and make other necessary daily trips. Car insurance helps pay for car repairs so you can get where you need to go when you need to get there. Or, you could take a bus.
- The cost of a major accident. One of the many important roles of car insurance is the money for medical costs of people who are injured in accidents that are your fault. Of course, that includes any injuries you may suffer as well.
- Provide legal protection. There’s absolutely nothing stopping someone from suing you after an accident, even if the accident was THEIR fault. Auto insurance gives you a buffer between legal claims and your wallet. That includes providing an attorney to handle any lawsuit stemming from a lawsuit over an automobile accident.
- Protection from Mother Nature. You may think this would never happen to you, but what will you do if there’s a lightening strike, hurricane, tornado, or earthquake that damages or even totals your vehicle? It only takes a tree limb falling on your car from a simple storm and you may be looking at thousands of dollars in damage.
- Non-accident protection. Car insurance can also be crucial if your vehicle is stolen or vandalized.
- Avoid possible bankruptcy. For many people, the uninsured loss of a vehicle completely turns their lives upside-down. There’s no money for another vehicle, so getting to work on time can be difficult. That can lead to loans or credit card use that could spiral out of control.
- PEACE OF MIND. Because car insurance helps in so many areas, not having insurance can lead to some nerve-racking times just hoping against hope that no other bad news arrives. Able Insurance provides peace of mind with auto insurance, life insurance, home insurance and business policies.
For Auto, Home, or Life Insurance In The State Of Virginia, with offices in
Richmond – 9103 Quioccasin Rd, Richmond, VA 23229 (804) 741-6305 and
Charlottesville – 716 Rio Rd West Charlottesville, VA 22901 (434) 979-0814
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