Posted: July 8, 2021
Last modified: July 8, 2021

You’ve checked everything off your list for that beach trip – sunscreen, snacks, book, phone charger, change of clothes – but have you checked your vehicle to make sure it’s road ready?

AAA – The Auto Club Group expects a significant increase in the number of Americans traveling this summer, and Orlando is among the top five destinations for road trippers. If you’re ready to hit the road this year, here are some tips on how to avoid any issues and keep yourself and others safe during your trip.

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) recommends drivers check the following on their car before their trip:

  • Check for recalls at NHTSA.gov;
  • Inspect tires, including the spare, for any damage and to make sure the tire thread is adequate;
  • Check all fluid levels;
  • Check the brakes and listen for any grinding sound or vibration;
  • Check the battery to make sure it is fully charged;
  • Check that all headlights are working; and
  • Replace worn windshield wipers.

View or download the FLHSMV checklist for more tips.

You’ll also likely encounter some work zones or stopped emergency vehicles while traveling, and there are some Florida laws in place to help workers, public safety officials, and all road users arrive safely at their destinations.

As a reminder, drive at or below the posted speed limit when driving through work zones and put down any device while driving.  If you rely on navigational systems, remember that work zones are changing environments, and GPS may not always be accurate. Trust your eyes before electronics.

Florida’s Move Over Law requires drivers to move over one lane — when safe to do so — for stopped vehicles with flashing lights, including:

  • Law enforcement;
  • Emergency (fire/rescue, ambulance, etc.);
  • Sanitation;
  • Utility service;
  • Tow trucks; and
  • Road Rangers.

If you can’t move over safely, slow to a speed that is 20 mph less than the posted speed limit on a two-lane roadway, or slow to 5 mph if the speed limit is 20 mph or less.

Finally, if you encounter car issues while on your trip, remember you can dial *FHP (*347) to request a Road Ranger, who is equipped to provide services such as assisting with tire changes and other minor emergency repairs, fuel, or calling a tow truck, free of charge.