If you are planning that fun road trip with your friends and family you have been talking about for a while, some driving safety tips should be in order. No matter how long the trip is, you need to stay safe, save some money and avoid heavy traffic or potential road trip problems.
Since summer is just around the corner and you probably feel the need of hitting the road soon, here are some driving safety tips you should keep in mind:
Never drink the night before going on a road trip. Even a beer can affect you the second day. We hope it is not necessary to warn you to not have any type of alcoholic drink while you’re on the road.
Make sure your car is in prime condition before you leave – check out every little detail, not just the gas tank.
Keep in mind that coffee or energizing drinks are not the best or safest way to keep you awake or vigilant along the way. Fresh citrus juices will give you enough energy to keep you going without the effects receding in time.
Never drive if you feel tired. Even if you don’t feel sleepy, you still need to take a break every couple of hours to have a snack, stretch your legs and back, get some fresh air and so on. Even if you are not sleepy you can pull over and take a quick power nap. Road trips are better with more drivers so when one is tired another one can take the wheel.
Use hands-free devices if you absolutely need to talk on the phone with someone. Besides respecting the no-cell phone laws, you will be safer and keep other traffic participants safe as well.
Make sure you plan your route taking into account the weather conditions, traffic conditions and routes’ status. Sometimes is better to take a detour or a longer road than being stuck on a road under construction. It is also better to avoid rain or fog areas, even if it means taking a longer path.
Back up your GPS, Waze or Google Maps with a regular map. While phone apps and car GPS can take you safely where you want to go, some remote areas are not well mapped, this is why you need traditional mapping. Apps can also help you avoid traffic and find better routes so make sure you use them.
Have a Red Panic Button app installed on your phone – in case you get lost in a remote area or you get a flat tire, a minor accident or a vehicle malfunction you can alert the ones close to you about your current predicament and you can get help fast and efficiently.
If you are driving a rental, never go on the road the same second you left the rental agency. You need to familiarize yourself with the new car, so give it a test drive before you begin your journey.
Keep all your valuables safe, even if you travel with friends and family. Road heists and burglaries aren’t unheard of, so make sure your money, valuables and documents are safe in the glove compartment or the trunk (underneath the luggage).
If you are hungry or thirsty, you’d better stop for snacks and refreshments at convenience stores and grocery stores instead of gas stations. You will get a much larger variety of products at reasonable prices.
Make sure your car is packed with items making your life easier: napkins, plastic cups, toilet paper, a first-aid kit, a flashlight, a set of jumper cables, windshield wiper fluid, an ashtray for the smokers in the back, and so on.
Keeping these in mind will make your road trip much safer and pleasurable. So drive safely, don’t exhaust yourself and have some fun!