Heading out on a road trip? Here’s everything you need to know to arrive safely and comfortably.
Road trips can a real fun and laidback way of travelling. But like most travel adventures, there are precautions to take in order to stay safe while on the road. Enjoying a getaway like this can depend on how much attention is paid to you and your passengers’ safety. The road can be dangerous, but if you use common sense and plan accordingly, there’s no reason your next road trip has to be anything but a good time.
Get your car checked out.
The first thing you need to consider is if your car is in good enough condition to safely make the trip. A lot of people have more faith in their car than they should. They don’t think twice about whether or not they can make the journey, no matter how old and run down it might be. Best to play if safe rather than take the risk. Take your car in for a check up, get an oil change, check your tire pressure – make sure your vehicle is it tip-top shape before you hit the road and it could save you a whole lot of trouble later on.
Pack an emergency kit.
While you obviously hope that it will be smooth sailings all the way, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be prepared for those bad situations should they arise. Having a spare tire and the proper tools to make the change is a must-have for any road trip, but make sure you pack a thorough and efficient emergency kit as well for those just-in-case scenarios. Include things like flashlights, a first aid kit, water, a charged cell phone and a portable charger. Hopefully you won’t have to open it the whole trip but it’s always better to have it and not use it than to need it and not have it.
Keep out distractions.
Distracted driving has become one of the main causes of road accidents and it remains a very serious aspect of driver safety. The danger of distracted driving increases over these long road trips so it is certainly something to be aware of and consider. Have someone other than the driver handle the navigation. Also, let the other passengers know if they are contributing to the distractions. It’s expected that there will be music or maybe passengers watching movies, but if it is interfering with your driving, it is your responsibility to let them know and remove the distractions. Road trips are meant to be fun for everyone but not at the expense of your safety.
Take your time.
The great thing about a good road trip is that the journey is most of the fun. No matter where your ultimate destination is, enjoying the open road is a vacation in and or itself. So that being the case, there is absolutely no reason why you should be in a hurry to get anywhere. Firstly, studies show that speeding saves you virtually no time compared to if you obeyed the speed limit. Secondly, speeding is one of the main causes of severe accidents on the road. Choose a destination and a route that allows you to take your time and enjoy the experience. Otherwise you’re a danger to yourself and others on the road.
While it can be easy to get swept up in the beauty and fun of the open road, it’s important to give yourself some time outside of the car as well. The occasional stops to stretch your legs and walk around will save you a lot of discomfort later on, as well as help to keep you driving safe. Some fresh air and time away from the wheel helps you to remain focused on the road when you re driving. Also, being stuck in a car seat for hours on end can do a lot of damage to your back and legs. Give yourself the occasion break and stay sharp.
When behind the wheel, it’s important that you are in the right mindset. This is a often overlooked driving danger but an important one for your safety. You can feel the need to drive for as long as possible in order to get closer to your destination. This can lead to extended hours on the road which puts you at risk for accidents. Drowsiness can creep up on a driver quicker than you’d think. You need to be aware of your alertness and stop for rest before you become a danger out there. Know when and where you are stopping each day to avoid searching for a motel when you need one.