Road trips are a great way to explore the country, a frugal way to travel and a wonderful opportunity to enjoy extended quality time with family. Without proper planning, however, a road trip can quickly take a turn for the worst. So keep reading for tips on Staying Safe On A Road Trip.
Before setting off on a journey through ever-changing terrain, towns and freeway exits, it’s important to follow a few safety precautions to ensure that your trip goes smoothly. Here are a few key ways you can stay safe while on a road trip — and tips for building the ultimate car emergency kit in case you encounter an unexpected bump.
Prepare Your Car
Before hitting the road, prepare your vehicle for travel. Not all cars are equipped with roadside assistance service, so it’s important to make sure your vehicle is in good working order. You can ensure your car is roadworthy by scheduling a maintenance appointment at your local auto shop or performing a once-over yourself. Check the following components:
- Lights, signals and wiper blades
- Tire pressure
- Spare tire
Make sure to get a good night’s sleep before heading out on the road. Every year, about 100,000 police-reported crashes involve drowsy drivers. Sleep deprivation affects your ability to keep your car in the correct lane and slows reaction time if you suddenly need to brake or steer.
Certain medications and boredom also can contribute to drowsy driving. If you’re growing more tired by the mile, be sure to share driving responsibilities to avoid highway hypnosis or falling asleep at the wheel.
Anything that takes your focus off the road is a distraction. Keep items that you think you may need — water, snacks, lip balm — within easy reach. Bored youngsters also can count as distractions, so provide the kids with games, tablets, movies or their favorite music. This will keep them entertained and minimize the inevitable “are we there yet?” questions. If you’re driving and need to take care of a child, be sure to pull safely to the side of the road.
Create the Ultimate Emergency Kit
If your vehicle blows a tire, breaks down or someone becomes ill or injured, you’ll need assistance. A car emergency kit can save the day and provide you with dozens of items that you can use in a pinch. While an emergency kit should be personalized to your specific needs, these items may come in handy:
- Road maps
- Flashlight and batteries
- First-aid kit
- Multipurpose tool
- Jumper cables
- Road flares
- Car escape tool
- Spare phone charger
- Duct tape
- Bottled water
- Nonperishable snacks
Know how to use the items properly and keep the kit easily accessible. A good emergency car kit can mean the difference between getting back on the road quickly and being stranded for hours waiting for help to arrive.
A little bit of preparation before hitting the road can help make your trip as fun and as safe as possible. For more road trip safety tips for your next adventure, see the accompanying infographic.Golen Engine Service