7 Important Road Trip Safety Tips

You’ve packed your suitcase, loaded the cooler up with ice and snacks, and assembled your playlist. But have you taken the time to consider these 7 important road safety tips?

Tip 1: Schedule a Tune-Up for your Car

There are a few basic maintenance issues you should attend to before heading on your road trip. These include having the following items checked: tires, fluids, belts, battery, and air conditioning.

Feeling able to tackle this yourself? Popular Mechanic has an excellent step-by-step guide to making your car road trip ready.

Tip 2: Plan to Avoid Drowsy Driving

It can be very tempting to want to power down to your destination or drive overnight so the kids can sleep. However, drowsy driving is a major cause of car collisions. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 91,000 collisions happened in 2017 as a result of drowsy driving. They additionally warn that the most frequent times of these crashes occur late at night, pre-dawn, or early afternoon.

Make a plan to start your trip well rested. Alternate drivers, and make frequent stops (particularly when dealing with monotonous stretches of highway).

Tip 3: Pack an Emergency Kit

This is the perfect time to make sure you have a suitable emergency kit for your car. Here are some essentials to include:

  • Jumper cables
  • Tools for changing a tire (along with an old towel or change of clothes)
  • Water
  • Warm blankets
  • Flashlight
  • Flares
  • First-aid kit
  • Fully-charged cell phone (don’t forget a charger)

Share your itinerary with a trusted friend or family member so they know  when you’ll be leaving, where you’re headed, and when you’re returning.

Tip 4: Know your Route

Do not rely on GPS to guide your way! There are times it may be unavailable, particularly if you’re keen on taking those scenic routes. Keep a good, current map or atlas in the car and know your route. This way you won’t lose your way if you lose your service.

Tip 5: Review your Insurance Policy

It’s always best to know what’s on that insurance policy before you need it! Pull out that policy and if need be, give your agent a call to ask any questions you might have and inform them of your travel plans. One good question to ask would be if you carry roadside assistance on your policy and if so, how to access it in case of an emergency.

Of course, make sure to have a current copy of your insurance and registration in your car. Additionally, some insurance companies now offer mobile versions of policy cards on their app.

Tip 6: Consider Installing a Dash Cam

You know the phrase “plan for the worst, hope for the best?” That phrase applies to this action item. Most likely, your road trip will go smoothly from start to finish. But having a dash cam installed will give you some peace of mind in case there’s a hiccup.

This needn’t be a huge expense, either. The price of dash cams has come down. With a little bit of searching, you should be able to find one for right around $100.

Tip 7: Reduce Distractions

There is a lot happening on a road trip: navigating to destinations, dealing with restless backseat passengers, figuring out the nearest restroom stop, and jostling luggage. We don’t have to tell you that distracted driving is dangerous! Here are a few basic things you can do to reduce distractions during your road trip:

  • Designate a navigator. If possible, have a passenger provide directions.
  • Secure your luggage. Pack your car smartly, making sure that no items will go flying forward in case of a quick stop.
  • Provide kids with entertainment. Make sure the kids (or any other passengers) come prepared with quiet activities.
  • Periodically clean out the car. During rest stops, take the time to throw away trash and put things back in order.

When it comes to road trip safety, taking a few hours before you leave to make sure you’ve crossed these items off your list will offer you huge peace of mind. However, there are always unforeseen things that may happen. If you end up the victim of a car accident on your road trip, the Ladenburg Law Injury Attorneys can help.

Drive Safely!

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