Summer travel safety tips from Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office


Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) – Summer travel continues to make a strong comeback this year, with many finally taking the big trips they’ve put off since COVID. As the prices of gas and airfare skyrocket, you may be watching your wallet, but officials with the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office says it’s also important to keep an eye on your belongings and the way you travel.

“Make sure you plan your route the right way carefully so that someone knows which route you’re taking, so just in case there is a wreck and you’re unconscious they’ll know who to call and about where to call,” Calcasieu Parish Chief Deputy Stitch Guillory said.

State troopers also recommend a proactive approach by practicing “heads up driving.” That means looking further down the road, instead of only at the vehicle in front of you.

If you’re in a rush, authorities say you may forget the most basic yet vital item on the list – securing your home. Always double-check doors, windows and entry points to make sure they are secure, and lock all valuables away. While more and more people have security cameras installed, it’s still smart to tell a trusted person about your trip.

“The most important thing they can do is get to know their neighbor,” Guillory said. “Make sure that you’re neighbor is aware that you are going out of town and that no cars should be there and ask your neighbor to help keep a watch for your house.”

You can also call the sheriff’s office to alert them of your getaway, and a deputy will be sent out to patrol your home periodically.

Lastly, keep an eye on your kids in crowded areas like airports and rest stops while traveling.

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Car care tips before you hit the road this summer


GREAT FALLS — April is National Car Care Month, and Memorial Day – the unofficial beginning of summer and the summer travel season – is just a few weeks away.

Mechanics say this is the time to get your car into the shop. There are several things you need to have checked out to make sure your car is ready to hit the road and mechanics were already very busy.

Inside Gear Grabbers Garage in Great Falls, there was no shortage of work to do Thursday.

“Most people are quite a ways out. Lack of help and just the way things are,” Gear Grabbers Garage owner Luke Cote said.

The backup could get worse once summer travel gets into full swing.

“Our business really picks up about Memorial Day and on Fridays,” Cote explains. “When you get your oil changed, make sure that they’re checking your coolant. If it’s due to be changed, change it out.”

Tire tread and wheel bearings are also important to check.

“Wheel bearings on trailers especially. There’s a lot more traffic on the highway all summer long. A lot more horse trailers, boats. Make sure your wheel bearings are packed or at least inspected,” said Cote.

Another reason to get your car inspected for the summer travel season early, parts may be hard to come by.

“Just a break job on certain vehicles that before you could get them right now, it takes three or four days to get break parts anymore,” said Troy Weninger, Carnahan’s Towing and Repair Shop Manager.

When you do hit the road keep an eye on your gas gauge.

“We do see a lot of fuel pumps during the summer. I always tell people ‘Keep your tank full as much as you can.’ A lot of vehicles nowadays, the fuel pumps are in the tank. So fuel does help cool the electric motors of the fuel pump,” said Weninger.

Click here for more car-care tips on the AAA website.


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