Taking a road trip is exciting, but it’s also a little dangerous. You never know what you might face while out on the road, so it’s best to prepare for as much as you can before you go. If you want to keep yourself and your car safe while you’re travelling, here are some tips you can use.
Know Where You’re Going
First, you should know where you’re going. This means more than knowing your final destination. You should also know where you’ll be stopping along the way and how you’ll get there. By knowing the route ahead of time, you’re less likely to get lost, even if your GPS stops working for some reason. In addition, you can learn about the areas you’ll be in before you go and ensure you’re not stopping over in any bad areas.
Pack Emergency Supplies
Perhaps the best thing you can do to protect yourself before you go is pack the right supplies. You don’t want to find yourself in the middle of nowhere with no food, no water, and nothing to change your flat tire with. Make sure your vehicle is loaded up with plenty to eat and drink, and that you have some other basic emergency supplies. A spare tire (and the tools to change it), a flashlight, a portable battery pack, and some other standard tools are all good things to throw in the trunk of your car.
Know Your Emergency Phone Numbers
Sometimes on your road trip you’ll need a little assistance. Before you go you should write down all the important phone numbers you might need. These include your emergency contact, the number for roadside assistance, and the number for your doctor. Write these down on a slip of paper and keep them either in your car or in your wallet. That way if your cell phone dies, you still have the numbers stored somewhere.
Avoid Driving at Night
The most dangerous time to drive on a road trip is at night. It’s harder to see at night, and since you’re unfamiliar with the area, you’re more likely to get into an accident. Not only that, but if something bad does happen – like a flat tire – it’s harder to deal with it at night. Whenever possible you should avoid driving through the night. If you have to, pull over at a rest stop and sleep in your car until the sun comes back up.
Check Your Insurance and Warranty Information
Before you go it’s a good idea to make sure your car is protected. Talk to your insurance company to see that all your payments are up to date and that you’re fully covered. You may also want to look into the warranty for your vehicle. For example, if you’re taking an RV on a road trip, you may want to look into a used RV warranty.
Go with a Friend or Family Member
The old saying is true – there’s safety in numbers. If possible, you shouldn’t go on your road trip alone. Bring someone along for the ride so that you can keep each other safe. A companion can help you change that tire, take shifts driving when you get tired, look up directions while you drive, split costs, and keep you company. Two heads are better than one when you’re on the road, so talk to those closest to you and see if anyone is up for a trip.
Follow the Rules of the Road
Finally, if you want to stay safe during your trip, it’s important that you follow the rules of the road. These rules are designed to protect you and other drivers, and since you’ll be spending a lot of time driving, it’s even more important that you follow them. So, when you’re out driving don’t go over the speed limit, always use your turn signal, don’t park where you aren’t supposed to, and always use your headlights. Little things like this can go a long way towards avoiding accidents while you’re travelling.
Enjoy Your Road Trip
The above might sound like a lot, but it really isn’t. It’s just a matter of taking precautions before you go, then practicing some good habits while you drive. Road trips can quickly turn into a disaster if you aren’t careful, but the above tips can help make this a little less likely. We hope you put them to good use the next time you’re planning a trip and that you’re able to make it back home safe with some great stories.