IRVINE, Calif., May 26, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Americans are ready to hit the road. With pandemic numbers down and vaccine numbers up, after spending the majority of last year at home the pent-up demand for travel is undeniable. For many, the upcoming Memorial Day weekend will be the kickoff to some long-awaited and much-needed summer vacations. To help travelers make the most of their trips, the experts at Kelley Blue Book offer 5 Road Trip Safety Tips for Summer along with their recommendations for the 10 Best Road Trip Cars of 2021.
As summer approaches, road tripping is on the rise. Recent data reveals that 41% of Americans say they have summer travel plans, up significantly from 24% one year ago. This year travelers are going farther away with 64% traveling 100+ miles from home, also up substantially from last year. And road trips remain the most popular choice, as most vacationers (65%) plan to travel by vehicle.1 The American Automobile Association (AAA) estimates 34 million people will take to the road during Memorial Day weekend this year, compared with last year's 23 million (their lowest on record since 2000).
Before hitting the road, the experts from Kelley Blue Book and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommend the following 5 Road Trip Safety Tips for Summer:
- Inspect and Maintain – Routine vehicle maintenance is a must. Perform a basic check of your vehicle's tire pressure, wiper blades, fluid levels, lights and air conditioning. Don't defer regularly scheduled service like oil changes, battery checks and tire rotations. Being diligent goes a long way toward preventing breakdowns. To be sure your vehicle is road-trip ready, schedule a preventative maintenance checkup with your mechanic.
- Be Prepared for Road Trip Contingency Plans – Be prepared for any contingency, because even a well-maintained vehicle can break down. Prepare an emergency roadside kit to take with you, and don't forget to include an extra portable cell phone battery charger so you can plug in your phone even if the car doesn't work.
- Keep Child Safety a Top Concern – Buckle up, every trip, every time. All vehicle passengers need to strap in, and you can set the example by always wearing your seat belt. Children under 13 should ride in the backseat. Be aware of risks that arise with warm weather; children can suffer heatstroke if left unattended in a parked car.
- Share the Road – Good weather attracts many types of roadway users, including motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians. These road users are more vulnerable because they do not have the protection of a vehicle around them. Leave more distance between you and a motorcycle (at least 3-4 seconds worth), as motorcycles can stop in much shorter distances than cars and trucks. Always signal your intentions before changing lanes or merging into traffic, so road users can anticipate your movement and find a safe lane position.
- Before the Road Trip: Check for Recalls – No matter the season, use Kelley Blue Book's VIN recall check tool to make sure your vehicle does not have any outstanding recalls. If it does, get it fixed as soon as possible, for free.
"Road trips are the best way to combat the cabin fever we're all feeling from being at home for so long during the pandemic," said Matt DeLorenzo, senior managing editor for Kelley Blue Book. "People are tired of staring at the same four walls – they're ready to get out and take in some new scenery. Now with the vaccine rollout well underway, Americans will be hitting the road in droves this summer. There's nothing quite like the Great American Road Trip, and a little planning can go a long way to help ensure your travels are stress-free, safe and fun. It's finally time to get out there, so bring your hand sanitizer and enjoy your trip."
With the increased summer travel right around the corner, the editors at Kelley Blue Book recently named their recommendations for the 10 Best Road Trip Cars of 2021:
Kelley Blue Book's 10 Best Road Trip Cars of 2021
1. 2021 Toyota Sienna
With its 36-mpg rating, the newly redesigned Toyota Sienna minivan is a frugal way to take the whole family for a ride. The Sienna comes only as a hybrid, making it the most fuel-efficient van on the road. It also has a spacious interior with tons of features, including standard driver-assistance tech to help make road trips even more relaxing.
2. 2021 Kia Telluride
Every version of the Kia Telluride feels like first-class travel, thanks to this three-row SUV's upscale styling and fantastic interior. As if we need another reason to love the Telluride, it includes the security of a five-year, 60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, and a 10-year, 100,000-mile powertrain warranty.
3. 2021 Honda Odyssey
The Honda Odyssey is a spacious, luxurious and even somewhat sporty minivan. Starting at around $34,000, the Odyssey is a good value even as you work your way up to the decadent Elite trim, which boasts heated and cooled front seats, a rear-seat entertainment system and an innovative intercom system.
4. 2021 Subaru Outback
The Subaru Outback – the Swiss Army Knife of vehicles – is better than ever, delivering excellent on-road comfort, good fuel economy, plenty of punch, and serious off-road or winter weather capability. Our new favorite is next year's Outback Wilderness, a more off-road oriented with a lift kit, chunky tires and cool styling accents for well under $40,000.
5. 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L
The first-ever three-row Jeep Grand Cherokee rides on a longer wheelbase than the standard model. It offers a new, high-tech interior with one of the best infotainment systems in the business, along with Jeep's renowned off-road ability. We expect to see a lot of Grand Cherokee L models hauling families around this summer.
6. 2021 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray
For decades, the Corvette has shattered the myth that sports cars can't be practical. The latest model boasts a mid-engine configuration and delivers phenomenal handling, a remarkably comfortable ride and an impressive 27-mpg highway rating.
7. 2021 Volvo V90
Clark Griswold may have cemented station wagons as the classic road trip car, but the slick, suave Volvo V90 is a far cry from the Family Truckster. This powerful wagon comes standard with one of the most sophisticated suites of driver-assistance tech you'll find anywhere.
8. 2021 Ram 1500 TRX
If your version of the Great American Road Trip involves more than just a jaunt down the highway, the remarkably refined brute that is the new Ram 1500 TRX is a capable and surprisingly comfortable vehicle for your outdoor adventures.
9. 2021 Hyundai Elantra
You don't have to spend big bucks to get a high-tech car that's great for a road trip. The daringly stylish new Hyundai Elantra packs tons of wow factor into a frugal, refined package that's well-equipped for around $25,000.
10. 2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata
For more than 30 years, the two-seater Miata has been putting smiles on drivers' faces. Sure, there are more practical choices – but if you can pack light, the Miata will provide more thrills per mile than just about any new car priced at around $30,000.
To learn more about 5 Road Trip Safety Tips for Summer from Kelley Blue Book, visit https://www.kbb.com/car-news/5-road-trip-safety-tips/. To learn more about Kelley Blue Book's 10 Best Road Trip Cars for 2021, including photos, pricing information and more, visit https://www.kbb.com/best-cars/top-10-best-road-trip-cars/. To see Kelley Blue Book's 10 Best Features for Your Family Road Trip, visit https://www.kbb.com/best-cars/family-friendly-road-trip-features/.
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1 Cox Automotive COVID-19 Consumer Impact Study, May 2021
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