Road trips are more than just another drive. They get people to out-of-town family, friends and business colleagues and take them to vacation destinations along scenic routes. Regardless of why you’re hitting the road, staying safe is important to get where you’re going in one piece.
There are ways to implement road trip safety to feel confident throughout your journey. Here are four important tips for a relaxing, secure drive.
1. Know Your Route
Everyone wants to arrive at their destination safely. To do this, you need to know the route you will take.
As fun as it can be to explore, you need to know where things connect and how long it takes to get where you’re going. When taking a road trip to an unfamiliar place, not knowing your route can lead to you and your companions running out of gas, misjudging a hazard, losing cell service or getting too tired to drive.
You need to review directions ahead of time to avoid getting, which could take you far away from where you want to go. Even if you use a reliable navigation device, it’s best to print or download directions in case you lose service. Looking at the route ahead of time or having a passenger double-check the device’s instructions can ensure you’re always heading in the right direction.
2. Maintain Your Vehicle
You should give your vehicle a good once-over before embarking on a road trip.
Washing your car can help you identify any chips or cracks that could cause issues during your trip. It also removes residue from the outside of your windshield and windows, allowing you to see better. Ensure the products you use won’t harm your tires or undercarriage, which could lead to riskier trips in the future.
Check your windshield cleaning fluid before you go so you can quickly remove anything that impedes your vision on the highway. You should also check your oil level and change your oil if your car is close to needing it.
The last thing you need is to get pulled over on a road trip. Ensure your lights work properly and that your inspection and registration are current.
3. Keep Everything and Everyone Energized
Road trips can be long and tiring, but staying alert and ensuring you, your car, and your passengers are safe and content is essential.
It’s always a good idea to start a road trip with a nearly full tank of gas because it’s hard to predict when you might get stuck in traffic. Roadwork, accidents, and other events can keep you from stopping when and where you need to refuel.
Just like your car needs to stay energized, so does its driver. Taking a road trip is not the time to try a new diet that could affect your blood sugar. Keep snacks on hand so you can have a pick-me-up whenever needed.
You also should not drive if you feel drowsy. Being tired on the road can lead to slower reflexes and decision-making, lapses in judgment and coordination, and falling asleep at the wheel. Don’t try to power through. Pull over to rest when needed or switch places with another capable driver until you get your energy back.
It’s a good idea to regularly rotate drivers to decrease the amount of time a single person has to concentrate on the road. This reduces accident risks and helps everyone feel better when arriving at your destination.
You should have a passenger stay awake with you when driving at night. They can serve as a second pair of eyes and help you stay refreshed when everyone else is asleep. If you’re alone, consider having someone you can call if the trip starts to get boring so you can stay alert.
4. Have an Emergency Kit
If you don’t already have an emergency kit in your vehicle, chances are you are one of the many drivers who don’t think disaster could happen. However, emergencies are unpredictable, and it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Have an easily accessible bag or container with a first-aid kit, an external phone battery or solar charger, jumper cables, a spare tire and a jack. You’ll also need a few bottles of water, a reflective vest, flashlights or headlamps, an emergency blanket, flares and something to eat.
These items can help you or another driver after an accident or other adverse event. They will buy you time to remain safely with your car until you can continue driving or get help.
It’s also a good idea to get a roadside assistance plan if you need help with your vehicle during your trip.
Have a Safe Drive
Keeping your car and body healthy and strong will result in an enjoyable trip, providing you peace of mind. Enjoy the journey as much as the destination and hit the road with confidence.
Jack Shaw is the senior writer of Modded.com. When not writing, he can be found out adventuring across country, on his own or with his dog at his side.