Nothing says adventure quite like loading the family into the car and hitting the road! As fun and memorable as road trips can be, unfortunately safety concerns like automobile and truck accidents, mechanical breakdowns, and other realities are possibilities that must considered in order to ensure a safe excursion.
While not all automobile and truck accidents can be avoided, there are steps you can take to decrease the chances of being involved in one. First, make sure that all drivers have had adequate rest before the trip and do not drive while feeling sleepy. Caffeine, loud music, and rolled down windows are never an adequate solution for fatigue behind the wheel.
Secondly, take care to keep your passengers safe by avoiding distractions. Enlist the help of others when you need something so that you are able to keep your eyes on the road. Always obey speed limits and make sure that everyone in the vehicle remains buckled at all times.
Perform a Vehicle Check
Before hitting the road, do a vehicle maintenance check. Be sure to inspect the brakes, the oil, the tires, and make sure that all fluids are topped off. Taking the time to make sure your vehicle is roadworthy could decrease the chances of an accident or unfortunate delays due to untimely service issues.
Prepare for Emergencies
While performing a vehicle maintenance check helps limit the chances of something going wrong, the unexpected can still happen.
Make sure that you and your family are prepared for any situation by packing the following:
- a roadside safety kit that includes flags, cones, and/or flares
- a first aid kit
- an automotive tool kit that includes jumper cables
- an inflated spare tire, car jack, and lug wrench
- a flashlight with extra batteries
- bottled water and non-perishable snacks
- blankets and extra clothing
- medications and supplies for children and pets
- a cell phone and charger
- Plan your route
Do not rely on GPS alone, but have your trip mapped out ahead of time. Designate a navigator to assist the driver. Be prepared for inclement weather conditions and be sure to let a friend or family member know your route, destination, and approximate time of arrival.
Take the Scenic Route
Consider alternate routes to your destination. While the overall travel time may be extended, the scenic route is often worth it. On the other hand, traveling state highways and parallel surface streets may yield less traffic and provide less crowded amenities along the way.
While a trouble-free road trip can never be guaranteed, following these 5 simple guidelines will go a long way in increasing the chances of your family enjoying a safe and unforgettable journey.