Planning ahead can help ease any spring breakdowns

Morgan Day

Chevy Chase is a pro at it.

Jack Kerouac was the best.

Kent State students will try their hand at it this spring break.

Road tripping – a favorite among college students, but something that can hold many dangers.

Kent State Police Services wants students to keep their safety in mind when they get behind the wheel.

“Definitely just keep an eye out for each other,” said Alan Krems, auxiliary service officer at the Kent State Police Department. “You guys are your own protection. It’s a lot harder to victimize a group than a person.”

Krems, senior justice studies major, said he learned the hard way how to prepare for a road trip. He took a trip to Kentucky a few years ago, and when his friend’s car broke down, the voyagers needed a creative way to get back home to Cleveland.

They came up with a plot to have AAA tow the car 100 miles, then have the car towed another 100 miles using someone else’s membership, and then towed once again.

Krems said if students have a choice between vehicles, take the best vehicle. Also, he said to carry a spare tire or donut, check that the vehicle’s tires are properly inflated and the lug nuts are hand-tightened. He said if they are tightened by an air wrench, they will be impossible to remove by hand.

“And people suggest you fill up half a tank because you never know when the next gas station is going to be,” Krems added.

Officer Alice Ickes of the Kent State Police Department said a passenger should stay alert to navigate the driver. Also, carrying MapQuest directions along with other road maps will be helpful.

“Many times you run into a problem on the road … or you’ll see a billboard on the side of the road, like ‘Come see the biggest collection of whatever,'” and people stray from their original directions, she said.

Kent AutoZone employee Bobby Cozens suggested students keep a blanket, first aid kit, a spare tire, a jack and road flares in their cars. He said it’s important to examine the vehicle before setting out on the trip.

“Basically, know your car,” Cozens said. “If you can tell something is different than it normally is, get it checked out. Make sure everything is in good shape and is up to par.”

Contact safety reporter Morgan Day at [email protected].