It’s the perfect time of year to grab a travel companion, pack the bags, and head off on an adventure. Road trips really are a lot of fun, unlike flying or taking a train, when you’re in the car you get to stop and experience a little bit of everything along the way. You can pull over and visit a popular tourist attraction, grab a bite to eat or make it a multi-city/state trip by stopping overnight to explore different destinations along the way.
You’re probably anxious to hit the road, but before you do, there are some safety concerns you need to address. There are so many things that could go wrong if you don’t prepare. Unless you want to find yourself stranded on the side of the road, in an accident, or bringing harm to yourself and those riding with you, its best you follow these safety steps listed below:
Have the Car Looked At
Thinking of putting some miles on your ride? Most people opt to take their own vehicles on a road trip because it’s a bit more affordable than renting a car. But, when you’re going to be traveling far and putting a lot of miles on your car it is important to have it looked at. Have a trusted mechanic inspect the car and make any necessary repairs and maintenance. Explain that you’re going to be going on the road and get his or her assurance that your car is safe to drive. This prevents you from sitting on the side of the road or being involved in an accident due to mechanical failure.
Speaking of getting in accidents, when you’re going on a road trip you need to have adequate insurance coverage on the vehicle. The hope is that you’ll get everywhere you want to be without incident, but you cannot control others. Being properly insured may not stop a car from hitting you, but it does provide you with financial coverage and relief after an accident. You can get instant quotes for auto insurance online that includes collision and comprehensive coverage for your ride. As an added layer of protection, look for policies that offer conveniences like roadside assistance. This way, if you are stranded on the side of the road, help is only a phone call away.
Check the Weather
There are certain times of year where the weather can get really unpredictable. Driving in horrible conditions can be dangerous. You can’t control the weather, but you can plan for it by checking the weather and road conditions prior to leaving for your road trip. If there is a chance for bad weather, perhaps you should plan to make an overnight stay somewhere to wait out the storm.
Bring Backup Directions
Having a GPS is very convenient, but what happens if it malfunctions? If the battery dies or some other mechanical failure causes the system to stop working, you still need to know how to get to your destination. You should always have backup directions which can include printed out instructions from the internet or a roadmap of the area.
Secure Pets Properly
It’s not uncommon these days to see pets going no road trips with their owners. If you’re taking your furry friend along for the ride, make sure that they are properly secured. You don’t want your dog or cat becoming a distraction that causes an accident. There’s also laws on securing pets and getting a ticket only dips into your spending budget. Whether you invest in a kennel or a car seat for pets, it should fit comfortably and be secured to the car.
Take Frequent Breaks
If you’re going to be driving for more than 3-5 hours at a time, you need to schedule breaks into your road trip. You may be anxious to get to your destination in the shortest amount of time possible, but long hours on the road can start to hinder your ability to drive. Eye Strain, blurred vision, cramped legs, fatigue, hunger, and more can result in an accident. Break up your road trip so that no one is driving any more than 3 hours at a time. Whether you’re headed to the east coast, west coast, or midwest, you can find roadside attractions worth seeing that can give you a break from highway driving.
Road trips will likely forever be a favorite travel option for individuals, couples, families, and friends. There’s something about you, the open road, your ride, and your travel companions that make the perfect combination for fun. If you’re planning to hit the road soon, before you create a mean playlist and pack the ultimate food and snacks, make sure that you remember to check off the above safety tips.