Trip planning and emergency preparedness key to ensuring road travellers
reach their destinations safe and sound
BURNABY, BC, May 10 /CNW/ - The dramatic story of a B.C. couple who made
a tragic wrong turn on their trip to Las Vegas offers a startling
reminder of the need for road travellers to make plans and preparations
before heading out on the road. The British Columbia Automobile
Association (BCAA) recommends all road travellers make and follow a
plan, and take a few other precautions that will help ensure a safe and
Chart your path electronically and on paper. In addition to a GPS (Global Positioning System) device, use up-to-date
maps or travel guides which can be marked up with your travel notes.
Carrying printed maps will also ensure you have access to road details
at all times. Make sure all adult travellers know the route ahead of
time. Plan where you'll stop or stay overnight and calculate the amount
of time it will take to reach each destination.
Research your route. Check ahead for road conditions and roadwork schedules, and scan for
radio stations offering local travel info. Figure out where gas
stations, campgrounds and other accommodations are located along your
route, then mark them on a printed map. Anyone can access BCAA's online
Triptik®, a trip planning guide, free-of-charge to print out a
customized map which includes details such as hotel and gas station
locations along with planned construction and detours along your route.
Leave an itinerary with someone you trust. Provide family members or friends with a copy of your itinerary and/or
marked-up map. Share details about your schedule such as planned
arrival times, where you plan to stop and how long you'll stay. Notify
someone whenever your plans change.
Schedule regular phone calls. Set up specific call times with friends or family so they know where
you're located at all times. Try to anticipate areas where cell phone
service may be unavailable. If you miss two or more scheduled calls,
someone will know something may have gone wrong and can notify the
authorities about your itinerary.
Carry travel medical insurance. If you're travelling anywhere outside B.C., ensure you carry adequate
medical insurance for yourself and all family members in case of
Prepare your vehicle
Give your vehicle a thorough tune-up. Get your vehicle inspected by a licensed auto repair technician at
least two weeks prior to your trip to allow time for repairs. Get the
following items checked: wiper blades, all fluids, tire pressure and
tread, hoses and belts, brakes, and air conditioning.
Check your spare tire. Ensure your spare tire is in good condition and properly inflated. Make
sure you carry proper tools required to change a tire such as a tire
iron that fits your vehicle's lug nuts, a car jack and WD-40 to help
loosen rusted or tightly wound lug nuts.
Understand your GPS device. Make sure your GPS unit works properly and is accurately calibrated.
Ensure you understand how to use your GPS device by reading the manual
thoroughly or contacting the GPS manufacturer or retailer to receive
What to pack
Well-stocked first-aid kit. Include bandages, gauze, pain reliever, allergy medication, antiseptic,
and any other medication your family may need.
A few light tools. Some simple tools can be used for minor vehicle repairs and can also get
you out of a jam. Carry a small variety of tools such as: a roll of
duct tape, screwdrivers, a hammer, an adjustable wrench, pliers, baling
wire, a flashlight, a can of WD-40, and a rag.
Emergency items. Road flares, a jug of drinking water and an emergency blanket are handy
in case you have to wait a long period of time for help.
Fully charged cell phone and car charger. Remember to pull over to a safe place to use your phone, or have a
passenger place the call.
Emergency food. Carry high energy, non-perishable, no-preparation foods that can
sustain you for a long period of time.
Be prepared for winter weather. If you're travelling through the mountains you may experience winter
weather conditions, despite it being spring or summer time. Carry warm
clothes and boots in the cab of your vehicle or in a place that's easy
For more road trip planning tips, online maps and travel books, visit bcaa.com/roadtrip. BCAA Members can also visit any BCAA location to speak with a
Membership Specialist and have a BCAA Triptik® prepared and printed.
BCAA strives to deliver an amazing experience to its 790,000 members,
providing peace-of-mind and meeting their automotive, road travel and
insurance needs. BCAA is the largest organization of its kind in B.C.,
with $400 million in gross annual sales and a Member in one-in-four
B.C. households. In addition to receiving award winning roadside
assistance and insurance services, Members can also take advantage of
CAA dollar rewards, insurance discounts and the Member exclusive Show
Your Card & Save program. To learn more about BCAA's benefits, services
and advocacy, visit www.bcaa.com.
SOURCE British Columbia Automobile Association
For further information:
For further information, or to request an interview, please contact:
Niela Melanio, BCAA Public Affairs Advisor