During the summer, temperatures in the desert southwest can reach highs of over 125 degrees Fahrenheit. To give you an idea of how hot that is, it's hotter than the recommended setting for your water heater at home. It's hot. Really hot. In other words, the desert southwest, though beautiful and rugged, is also extreme and dangerous. If you're taking a road trip through this intense climate this summer, it's critical that you stay safe. These tips will help you prepare for your trip and help you protect yourself while on the road.
Get a Tuneup Before Leaving
Take your car to a trusted mechanic and explain that you'll be driving through the desert. Tell your mechanic how many miles you plan to travel and how long you'll be gone. Then ask your mechanic to check out all recommended systems for the drive. These systems include:
- Tire pressure.
- Air conditioning.
- Spare tire (with tools).
- Timing belt (if applicable).
If your car has any known deferred maintenance, leave your car at home and rent a car to be on the safe side.
Stop for Gas Frequently
It's not exactly the Sahara, but many parts of the desert southwest are relatively uninhabited. There can be many miles of empty road between gas stations, so be sure to know where these stretches are on your route and keep the better part of your tank full to be on the safe side.
Keep Survival Supplies in the Back
If your car does break down, you're going to need supplies to keep you going until help arrives. These supplies should include several gallons of water, food and blankets to keep you warm at night.
Stay Off the Off Roads
This region of the United States has a rich history of pioneer settlement and death, so you may read about a million hidden gems in off road sections of the desert. Those ghost towns, abandoned gold mines and cemeteries in the middle of nowhere probably sound pretty tempting. Unless you really know what you're doing, and your vehicle is up to the challenge, stay away from the off roads. If you must go visit some of these remote areas, go with a guide in a vehicle safe for off road travel.
Have the Phone Number for a Towing Company
Keep the phone number for a professional towing company, like Connolly's Towing Inc, entered in your cell phone. In the event that your car does break down, you're going to need to be able to call for help.
Following these tips will help you stay safe while you're on your trip this summer.