Summer Trips with ChORUS

A road in the summer time. There are clouds in the sky and the road is empty.

Life after retirement is wide open, just like the road that may be calling to you. Maybe you’ve always wanted to travel around the country and see the National Parks, maybe you just want to visit the grandkids or friends you haven’t seen in a while. Let us show you some key tips to keep yourself and your passengers safe on the road this summer.

Summer Safety Vehicle Tips

Summer means rising temperatures and your air conditioning is getting lots of use to keep you cool in your vehicle. Before your summer road trip, check to make sure your air conditioning is working properly. As we age we become more sensitive to heat, making sure the A/C is in peak condition before the summer temps peak is important to avoid heat-related illness.Heatstroke becomes more prevalent in the summer. Never leave a person or animal alone in the car with the car off. Vehicles can heat up quickly, even if the outside temperature is in the 70s. Be especially diligent with children in vehicles, because a child’s body temperature rises three to five times faster than an adult’s body temperature.1 Car temperatures can become deadly in 10 minutes or less.2

Car Seat Safety

If you are lucky enough to take a grandchild with you on your summer road trip, double check their car seats and booster seats are correctly installed and that any children riding with you are in the right seat for their ages and sizes. See NHTSA’s child passenger safety recommendations to find the right seat for your child’s age and size.When securing the child in the car seat, chest clips should be at armpit level and straps should fit snugly.4

A diagram showing how to safely strap a child into a car seat. Image taken from NHTSA Grandparents and Car Seat Safety.

Know Before You Go

Before you leave on your summer road trip, get your vehicle inspected. High temperatures accelerate the rate vehicle hoses and belts degrade. Belts and hoses may bulge, blister, or crack in the heat. During your pre-road trip inspection, ask about your vehicle tire recommended inflation pressure and don’t forget to check the spare tire inflation as well. Your fluid levels, such as oil, brake fluid, automatic transmission or clutch, power steering, and windshield washer, should be checked on a regular schedule. Be sure to have them checked before your road trip. Regular car maintenance should include checking batteries, lights, and wiper blades, and checking to make sure you have properly installed floor mats. By checking on these vehicle features before you go on your road trip, you’ll save yourself time and hassle, and have the peace of mind that you took care of any issues before heading out. Use the Check to Protect program. Currently, there are 50 million vehicles on the road with open recalls. The Check to Protect program is a free program where you can enter your Vehicle Identification Number, license plate number, or equipment brand name or model number and find out what open recalls are on your equipment/vehicle. Vehicle recalls are free to repair at a dealer.3 

Safety Kits

Be sure to have a summer safety kit on a long road trip. In your safety kit, you’ll want to have a cell phone and charger, a first aid kit, a flashlight, jumper cables, tire pressure gauge, a jack for changing a tire, basic repair tools (for example, duct tape), water and paper towels for cleaning, nonperishable food, and maps.Now that you’ve checked off your summer road trip car safety list, have a great trip! Be sure to check in with us again soon, we’re always updating our ChORUS resources for you and the safety of those you care about while on the road.


1. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). (2023). Summer Driving Tips. Retrieved from

2. NHTSA. (2023). Child Heatstroke Prevention. Retrieved from

3. NHTSA. (2023). Grandparents & Car Seat Safety. Retrieved from

4. National Safety Council. (2023). Check to Protect. Retrieved from