Going on a road trip solo or with friends and family is always exciting. The thought of reaching your destination, spending time during a road trip with your favorite people, driving fast on not-so-busy highways while listening and singing along to your favorite songs are some of the things that make road trip unforgettable.
The journey is always fun if you are well prepared for it. But, oftentimes, in the excitement of the trip, there are some basic things we tend to forget.
In this blog, we want to cover a few basics which will double your joy and hopefully might even save your or someone’s life someday!
Road Trip Safety Tips
Well, we’re not talking about your iPhone charger (can you really forget that?) or earphones but something much more important. While cars and roads are safer now than before, you can’t afford to take chances on yourself and your loved one’s lives.
Too often, simple precautions get forgotten in the midst of all the excitement and delight of hitting the road. Below are the six tips on how to make your road trip safer and more fun having the extra peace of mind that comes with being totally prepared for anything.
Carry a Fully Stocked Emergency Kit
It’s always good to hope for the best, but it’s even better to prepare for the worse just in case. The first thing that should go in your car should be an emergency kit that stocked with items that can be helpful in case of an emergency. It should include:
- First Aid Kit
- Water bottles
- Mobile Charger
- Clean blanket
- Emergency contact names & numbers – this is critical
You should also include car-specific items in case your car develops issues on the trip like triangle reflectors, some coolant, jumper cables, and an adjustable wrench.
We advise keeping all the emergency items in one place, preferably a tote bag or box, so that you can quickly get everything you need during an emergency.
Learn Basic Car Maintenance Skills
If you are heading to a place you’ve never visited before, it is best if you can be fully self-sufficient with everything, from road navigation to vehicle maintenance.
You don’t want to start looking for a mechanic in the middle of the woods when your car busts a tire. As such, a week before leaving familiarize yourself with DIY car maintenance procedures like removing and changing tires, checking and adding pressure and changing antifreeze and coolant.
Learning to do these things with boost your confidence, eliminate worries and let you enjoy your trip.
Keep the Music Low
You may find putting your favorite Drake song on full blast as you drive home from a long day at work quite therapeutic. There would be little to no impact on your driving. But that’s probably because your mind and body are used to taking the same road home every day.
On a new road, however, you need to be as keen and focused as possible on what’s happening in the front, sideways and at your back.
You might not be able to swerve fast enough to avoid an oncoming truck if you’re too busy having your own version of Carpool Karaoke.
Map & Load Your Route Beforehand
Get acquainted with the routes to your destination a few days before the trip, even if you’re not the driver. Additionally, check the weather and traffic forecasts on all roads you plan on using and plan accordingly.
Share your route information with a close family member who will be left behind and keep them updated on your progress. In case you suddenly go off-grid, they’ll know where to look.
Service Your Car Before You Go
The last thing you want to do is go on a trip hundreds of miles away from home with a faulty vehicle. Apart from subsequent repairs being expensive as hell, a defective car on a long journey is an accident waiting to happen.
Do a full checkup and service before you get on with your journey, replacing everything likely to break down within a month’s time. It is also good to carry spare parts like wheels and windscreens.
A Good Night’s Sleep Goes a Long Way
As mentioned several times above, going on a trip on unfamiliar roads requires loads of concentration and alertness to avoid accidents and nasty road experiences altogether.
Thus, the driver (and the co-driver) need to sleep for at least 8 hours before departure to ensure that they are on high alert and fresh during the trip.
Apart from sleep, resting also does wonders to one’s concentration and instinctual reactions. You might want to skip leg day if it falls a day before you’re set to be the designated driver.
Also, do we really need to stress the importance of being entirely sober before and during a trip?
Traveling is fun, exhilarating and eye-opening, more so when it’s with a bunch of friends or family. Nonetheless, a little caution goes a long way to making sure you all come back in one piece.
We hope that you’ve learned something about Road Trip Safety from this article and that you have a safe and fun road trip to wherever you’re planning to visit.
Feel free to also share your personal tips with our readers, congratulate us on a good job or just drop some words of wisdom in the comments below. Cheers!
Scott Pine is a team-building coach in the social marketing sphere, expert in a life insurance company, traveler and car lover. Scott also works on several own projects, including AutoExpertGuides. Follow him on Twitter.