05 Jul 2018

Road Trip Safety For This Summer

Road trips can be a lot of fun, but they can also be fraught with hazards. Travelers who know how to protect themselves and avoid safety issues while on a road trip may be able to avoid serious problems. These tips can help someone prepare for, and stay safe during, an upcoming summer road trip. 

Get a Tune Up

Cars have a way of breaking down on long road trips. The best way for travelers to avoid car problems when traveling long distances is to get their car serviced before leaving. Replacing worn tires and oil, checking all fluids and replacing any parts that are malfunctioning can help ensure that the car will continue to run throughout the long journey. Travelers with older vehicles may even consider driving a rental vehicle, or paying for a motor club membership for roadside assistance, just in case their car should break down while en route.   

Keep Safety Gear In Your Car

A lot can go wrong while driving. A break down in a remote area can have serious consequences if the driver is not prepared. Storing safety gear inside the car can help travelers protect themselves in the event of a problem. Some common examples of safety gear include:

  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Blanket
  • Extra food and water
  • Bandages
  • Jumper cables

Other safety items that travelers choose to keep on hand may depend on the destination. For example, travelers going to a desert may throw solid sunblock in their safety kit, while travelers going someplace where rain is common may pack a rain poncho.  

Stay Hands Free

Texting while driving is one of the most dangerous bad habits that modern drivers have developed. For a traveler who does this routinely, breaking the habit can be a challenge. Fortunately, there are many apps that turn off text alerts when a phone is traveling in a moving vehicle. This can help reduce the temptation to text and can make traveling safer for everyone on the road.   

Avoid Driving While Drowsy

It’s said that driving while drowsy is akin to driving while drunk. Often, pulling over to a safe location for a short nap can help. For those who can’t nap, there are some other methods for maintaining alertness on the road. Some of the common ways that people can stay awake while driving include:

  • Drink coffee.
  • Talk to passengers.
  • Switch driving responsibilities with other people in the car.
  • Roll down the window.
  • Sing with the radio.
  • Get out to walk around. 

Often the best way to avoid drowsy driving is to drive only during the day and to stop at night when it’s time to rest. Getting enough sleep every night can help make a road trip safer.  

Check On Your Spare Tire

A spare tire is critical on a long journey. Even if the mechanic reports that the tires are in good condition, a blow out could still happen while on the road. A spare tire kept on hand helps ensure that the traveler can drive the car to a service station to get a damaged tire changed. 

Not everyone knows how to change a tire. Travelers who have never changed a tire in the past and who would like to learn can find out more by watching tutorials online or by contacting a family member or friend who has knowledge of the process. Practicing before leaving town can help ensure that the traveler will know what to do when the time comes. Following these tips can help someone taking a road trip this summer to stay safe.