What’s better than a road trip? Taking your vacation to the open road to see parts of the country that often get overlooked is a great way to bond as a family. However, as fun as those car playlists are, there are a lot of things that can go wrong when you’re on the highway for hours on end.
Whether you’re taking a road trip to get from point A to point B or you’ve decided to drive cross country, make sure you’re safe. You’ll want to start taking some safety precautions before your trip so you’re prepared for everything. Add these safety tips below to your pre-trip checklist.
1. Get a Tune Up
No matter how great your car is, it’s always worth getting it looked at right before a trip. We’ve all heard the horror stories of families getting stranded on the side of a highway and having to wait overnight to get their car towed to the nearest auto shop. That isn’t just a movie plot. It can also be real life if you aren’t careful.
If you want smooth sailing, make sure your car is up to par. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a tune-up includes having your tires, belts, battery, fluids, and air conditioner all checked by a mechanic.
2. Review the Rules of the Road
We all like to think we’re safe drivers. The truth is that when we drive on the same routes every day, we get lazy. We know where the turns are, and we know what to expect. When you leave that routine, you’re forced out of your comfort zone. Different states have different driving laws, and you might get caught off guard.
Before you leave, review some of the common rules of the road. Even if they all sound familiar, it’s better to have a refreshed mind than to wonder if you really can make that left turn at the intersection. You can find these topics covered on www.drivingguide.com/, outlining today’s most common problems while providing tips on how to drive safely.
3. Pack an Emergency Kit
Everyone should have an emergency kit in their car. If you don’t already have one, go to an auto store and pick up the essentials. Even if you don’t end up needing them, you’ll be glad for the peace of mind. What should you include? Things like jumper cables, a flashlight, a spare tire, and a first-aid kit are a must.
You can take your kit further by including things just in case you’re in an extreme situation. Flares, extra water, and warm blankets can help if things go south unexpectedly. If you can, subscribe to a roadside assistance plan to help in case of emergency.
4. Store Your Heavy Objects
If you’re traveling with large suitcases, strollers, or other storage, make sure it’s secured. You can store all heavy items low in the seat wells and in an enclosed trunk. If you’re in an accident or if you have to stop suddenly, these heavy items can quickly become projectiles. You can use bungee ties to easily secure heavy objects in their place.
5. Protect Yourself from the Sun
A lot of people forget about the sun’s rays when they’re in the car. No matter where you’re going, if there’s going to be sun exposure, you need to be prepared. All members of the family should have sunblock and sunglasses. You might even consider a hat or a sunshade for the backseat.
When you leave the car, make sure you’ve taken precautions about the heat. Use a sun visor in the front seat to keep the internal temperature down. If you have child seats, cover them with a blanket to prevent them from melting or burning children’s skin. Finally, never leave a child alone in the car unintended. The temperature can quickly become dangerous, even in just a few minutes.
Are you hitting the road this year on a car trip? If so, make sure to pay attention to the tips above. These small steps will go a long way to help your family have an exciting and safe journey.