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Safety Tips for Texas Spring Road Trips

May 23 2022
Young people having fun in a jeep

Planning a spring road trip in the Lone Star State? Sounds like fun! Let’s look at some safety tips to take care of upfront so you can just focus on enjoying your trip once you are on the road, including carrying the legal amount of car insurance required by Texas.

Are Car Inspections Required in Texas?

Texas requires an annual safety inspection if you wish to keep your car’s registration valid and lawful. No exceptions.

Some of the key items included in an annual safety inspection in Texas are:

  • Lights: headlights, stop lights, indicator lights, and hazard lights
  • Brakes: both foot and parking brakes
  • Wheel components, including tire tread depth
  • Mirrors
  • Horn
  • Seatbelts
  • Airbags
  • Exhaust system
  • Steering system

Not all vehicles require emissions tests. It depends on the vehicle that you own and the county in which you reside. All safety and emissions inspections must be conducted at a DPS-certified inspection station.

What Is the Difference Between a Tune-Up and a Car Inspection in Texas?

An annual car inspection is required in Texas. A vehicle tune-up is a great idea before a Texas spring road trip. And make sure you are protected in case the unexpected happens on any trip. A roadside assistance program is cheap and great for protection.

The following is a list of likely items that your mechanic will review during a tune-up:

  • Filters
  • Belts
  • Hoses
  • Fluid levels
  • Spark plugs/wires/coil boots

Typically, a schedule for tune-ups is included in the regular maintenance section of owner’s manuals. A tune-up before a road trip is a great way to be proactive about your safety. Many of the items listed above may not need to be replaced, but it will give you a chance to stop small issues that could develop into big problems if left unchecked.

It’s a great idea to have a mechanic that you trust in your corner unless you are a true auto DIY person. Make sure to let your mechanic know your travel plans — especially how many miles you anticipate putting on your car during your Texas spring road trip and what type of terrain you will be traveling.

By understanding how far you plan to travel and what types of weather and roads you are likely to encounter, your mechanic can give you the advice to make sure that things like fluid levels and tires will remain in good shape throughout your trip and what type of post-trip maintenance your car will likely need.

Bluebonnets grow by the side of a road in the Texas Hill Country

Do You Need Car Insurance in Texas?

Yes. Texas law requires you to have at least the following in liability insurance for your car:

  • $30,000 of coverage for injuries per person
  • $60,000 per accident
  • $25,000 of coverage for property damage

This is called 30/60/25 coverage. It is important to educate yourself about car insurance in Texas to make sure that you are not only complying with the law but that you have the car insurance you need to protect yourself.

In addition to liability insurance, you can get collision insurance that will help you to repair or replace your car if you are in an accident. If you still have a loan against your car, you will be required to have collision and comprehensive insurance that will cover at least the remaining dollar amount of your car loan. It is a great idea to talk to an insurance advisor who can answer your questions and guide you to the car insurance that will give you the coverage and peace of mind that you deserve before your Texas spring road trip.

What Should You Carry in Your Car When Road-Tripping in Texas?

Great question! For a fun and successful Texas spring road trip, you will want to have legal safety and comfort items all available in your car.

Legal items include:

  • Valid driver’s license
  • Proof of insurance
  • Proof of registration

Safety items include:

  • Spare tire and necessary tools to change a tire
  • Flashlight
  • Owner’s manual
  • Raincoat
  • Bottled water
  • Spare key to your car
  • Emergency cash
  • Access to credit
  • Cell phone
  • Cell phone charger
  • Contact information for roadside assistance

Comfort items include:

  • Sunglasses
  • Jacket
  • Comfy shoes
  • Snacks
  • Playlist of songs
  • Audiobooks
  • Trash sack

What Do You Do If Your Car Breaks Down on a Texas Road?

First, stay calm. Then work through these safety steps:

  • Pull over to the side of the road if possible.
  • Put on your hazard lights.
  • Call 911 if it is an emergency and then roadside assistance if you have it.
  • If you need to exit your car, do so from the passenger side, so you are not in traffic.
  • Stay safely inside your car with the doors locked and windows up until help arrives.

By having a tune-up in advance of your Texas spring road trip, hopefully, you can avoid this situation. When it comes to car maintenance, an ounce of prevention is truly worth a pound of cure.

Find Affordable Car Insurance in Texas Today

At Baja Auto Insurance, our agents will find the auto insurance coverage consumers need at a price they can afford. To learn more about how we can help you, get a free car insurance quote online, give us a call at 800-401-6870 or stop by one of our locations for a visit.