Summer Driving Tips For a Safe Road Trip

Summer Driving Tips For a Safe Road Trip
Summer Driving Tips For a Safe Road Trip

Gearing up for a vacation away on the beach? Keep these summer driving tips in mind.

Service Your Vehicle in Advance

Before you head out on any big trips that will put a lot of miles on the odometer, have your car inspected by a mechanic who can perform any upcoming maintenance you need to do and check for potential safety hazards. You don’t want to be stuck on the side of the road with a broken-down car.

Keep Kids in the Backseat

All children under 13 years old should ride in the back seat. Additionally, any children who meet the criteria for being in a car seat should be in a properly-installed car seat. You can check NHTSA’s website for tips on how to select the proper car seat and install it correctly.

Take Breaks and Stay Alert

While that dream vacation may only technically be a 6-hour drive away, it’s hard on any driver to stay behind the wheel for a consecutive 6 hours. If you have another legal driver with you, take turns driving. Take breaks for everyone to get out, stretch, and eat, and make sure you’re in good condition to pay attention to other drivers on the road.

Share the Road

Summertime means cyclists, runners, and motorcycles will be out on the road. Don’t be that driver who hogs the road.


Follow these summer driving tips from us at Stalker Chevrolet for a stress-free road trip.

Tailgating Tips and Tricks

While we might associate tailgating with football games and warm fall weather, it just so happens that July is officially “Tailgating Month.” Here at Stalker Chevrolet, we think July is the perfect time to get all the details of your tailgating experience worked out – a practice run, if you will – before college football kicks off in just a couple of short months.

Here are our tailgating tips for a fun-filled day eating, drinking, and playing games from the back of your trusty vehicle.

Find the right vehicle. When you have a great tailgating pickup, SUV, or crossover, the rest falls into place. A good sound system, easy-access to the cargo space, and enough room for coolers, games, a grill, and folding tables and chairs are a must. May we be so bold as to make a few recommendations? The 2015 Chevy Silverado 1500, Colorado, or Tahoe promise to provide an exceptionally good tailgating experience.

2015 Chevy Tahoe Cargo Room
Just think of all the things you could load up in this 2015 Tahoe!

Bring extra food and drinks. Nothing ends a perfectly good tailgating party like running out of food or drinks. Create a menu ahead of time, and prepare what you can in advance. Make sure to pack your drinks and perishable food items well in a cooler (we recommend separate ones), and leave extras in the blissfully cold cooler until you need them. The drinks too. Nobody, and we mean nobody, wants a warm beer.

Don’t forget games. Good company and delicious food can only take you so far. Bring along a game of corn hole or other outdoor distraction, and enjoy!

Make a playlist. Doors and windows will be open, and music should be playing. Make sure your vehicle’s sound system is up for the challenge, and consider bringing along a Bluetooth speaker if it’s not. Mix it up, and keep the beats energetic and fast-paced.

Prepare for cleanup. No one wants to talk about the party being over, but being prepared will make clean-up much less painful. Bring a box of heavy duty trash bags (which can also function as impromptu rain gear), anti-bacterial wipes, and foil and Ziploc bags for leftovers.

For more helpful tips from the experts, visit

Doggy on Board: Traveling with Pets

Are you one of the millions of Americans that travels with their pets? Whether you’re picking up the kids, headed to a park, or traveling cross-country does your dog or cat have a spot in the car.

Last year AAA did a study with a major hotel chain. The study showed that more than half of the dog and cat owners in the U.S. say they take their pets with them when they travel.

If you’re one of these pet owners you should know some safety tips for traveling with pets, but do you follow them?

Here are some tips for traveling with dogs:

Restrain your dog(s). In several states this is a law (not Iowa), but even where it is not it’s still a good idea for your safety and the safety of your animal. Pet carriers, retrains, and cargo barriers are good ways to keep your dog restrained.

Traveling with pets
A well-placed cargo barrier will keep you and your pups safe.

Don’t ever let your pet sit in the front seat. Air bag deployment could lead to serious injuries or death.

Never leave your pet alone in the car. High and low temperatures can lead to heatstroke or hyperthermia, just like it could with a young child. Additionally, unattended pets can be stolen.

If your dog has anxiety issues and likes to bark or chew, make sure you bring some toys along to help keep them calm. Vehicles like the Chevy Equinox have several cargo hold to keep such things present.

Keep your snacks to yourself. Snacking on the road is fine, but if you want your dog to have that option, bring pet friendly snacks. Many human snacks contain potentially dangerous ingredients for dogs. While not all are fatal it could make your trip one to the vet, instead of that cozy cabin for the weekend.

Traveling with cats:

Use a pet carrier or cargo barrier. Just like dogs, cats pose a high risk of injury to you and themselves when left un-restrained.

Familiarize your car with your cat. Allow your cat to move around a bit in the vehicle before you pack them up and hit the road. Let them rub their check on things and spread a bit of their scent to become more comfortable.

On warm trips consider bringing a bowl of frozen water to let your cat lick to stay cool. This is a lot less messy than water.

We hope these tips help you the next time you back up Rover and Fifi for a family trip. And if you have any question on which vehicles are best for pets stop by and ask anyone at our dealership. They’ll be sure to steer you toward something that fits your needs.

Car Seat Safety Guidelines

If you’re like many Creston parents, next week you’ll be chauffeuring your children to school. However, just because your kids are at the age where they begin to go off to learn doesn’t mean they’re ready to ride with just a seat belt.

Preschoolers and young school-aged children should still be using forward-facing car seats and booster seats, respectively. For parents making the commute with infants or toddlers, a rear-facing car seat is the best option for your toddler.

Driving Toddler

Car seats have come a long way recently. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has updated their requirements on car seats and car seat manufacturers have improved technology and ease of installment.

The type of car seat you’ll need largely depends on the height and weight of your child, not their age. A smaller 9 year-old may still be safest in a convertible forward-facing car seat.  While the law in Iowa may state that children 6 and above can ride with simply a safety belt, most passengers aren’t big enough to ride this way until 12 or 13.

It’s important to make sure your child is in the right car seat. Please follow the necessary precautions to keep your child safe this school year and any time you’re on the road.

Travel Safely This Thanksgiving

If you haven’t been on the roads leading up to Thanksgiving, traffic can be hectic. Thanksgiving is one of the busy travel days of the year. According to roughly 43.4 million Americans will travel this Thanksgiving; a number that is slightly down from last year.

While that number may be down, that still a lot of people on the roads and in the air. We’re here to give you pointers to stay safe and have a great time with loved ones. Check out our top 5 driving tips.

Make sure you hit the road early. Speeding and hurried driving can distract you from the road, by placing more focus on the clock and where you need to be.

Plan your route in advance. Know where you’re going and how you plan on getting there. This will help you avoid looking too hard for signs and at your GPS. If you’re going to use a GPS mount it on your dash, so your eyes don’t have to travel far from the road.

Be mindful of the weather. It’s late November everyone. Snow, rain, ice, sleet, anything can happen. Check the weather before you leave and see what you’re driving into.

Try to travel before Wednesday. Because the holiday falls on a Thursday, many people leave Wednesday making it the biggest travel day. With traffic from those who have to work on Wednesday mixed with those traveling the road can get congested quickly.

Always back emergency equipment. We hope you never have an accident or get stranded anywhere; especially not during the holidays, but if you do we want to help you be prepared.

Travel Safely and Happy Thanksgiving from Stalker Chevrolet.