Road trips can be both thrilling and therapeutic, depending on the location and the type of travel adventure that you’re seeking.
According to reports, taking the road will be the most popular travel type, with 80% of travelers preferring this mode of travel.
But before you hit the road, there are many precautions that must be taken to make the most of your travel – particularly when traveling in extreme climates. With that said, here are some important safety tips to remember for your next road trip.
Get Enough Sleep the Night Before
If you’re fatigued from not getting enough rest the night before your road trip, you risk driving with a heavy head and sleepy eyes.
Drowsy driving can be very dangerous and can lead to an accident. Therefore, you should get enough good night’s sleep since you will be driving.
National Safety Council (NSC) data shows that drowsy driving is responsible for around 100,000 crashes yearly, leading to 71,000 injuries and over 1,500 fatalities.
It is evident that getting sufficient sleep, ideally six to eight hours, is necessary to avoid being part of the statistics.
How you pack your luggage can compromise your safety on the road. For instance, you don’t want your items becoming missiles during an abrupt halt. So store your heavy things lower in the seats.
Pack as lightly as possible by carrying only the essentials. It’s tempting to get carried away with packing for road trips because you don’t have as stringent luggage restrictions as you do when flying.
However, it’s a road trip, not an exile. The lighter you travel, the better fuel economy and convenience on the road.
Service Your Car
Your car is the most important component when taking a road trip. It is important to keep it well-maintained and roadworthy.
Even if you are going with a self-drive rental service, ensure the company has properly handled the servicing. You cannot risk driving a car with inadequate maintenance because it could cause potential problems on the road.
You can do the following checks to avoid any unnecessary emergencies on the road. First, check that the tire tread is at least 3 mm and the tire is properly inflated to ensure smooth steering and braking.
Also, check the water coolant and oil level to avoid overheating and potential engine breakdown. You should also inspect your lights and windscreen.
It can be useful to check your wheel and suspension for improved handling and ride performance. If you drive a Mustang, consider upgrading with suspension devices like Mustang coilovers to enhance your road experience.
Removing anything that might take your eyes off the road is advisable. For instance, leave your phone alone when you are behind the wheel, regardless of how free the road might be.
Also, try and keep chit-chat at the bare minimum. A road trip can be a terrific time to catch up with old friends and relatives. However, conversing with others can be as dangerous as using your phone while driving.
Your primary focus should be on the road so long as you are behind the wheel. Plus, avoid eating while driving. Drive-thru can be handy, but multitasking while driving can divert your focus away from the road.
Have a co-Driver
Driving 500 kilometers or more can be stressful for everyone. Even if you are the lone driver, you might be too exhausted to appreciate the trip or the destination.
As a result, having someone accompany you is a good idea, even if you plan the entire road trip. This way, you can get somebody to take over the wheel for a distance when you are tired.
Ensure the co-driver is as capable as you are to guarantee sufficient rest on the road.
Take Regular Breaks
Even with a co-driver, it is essential to make brief stops on the road, ideally every two hours. The breaks can be a good time to hydrate your body to feel more awake.
You may also use the restroom to freshen up before continuing the journey.
A good night’s sleep is great before setting off. However, take a break in a secure area if you feel tired, especially when you are the only driver.
You can also get in a couple of cups of coffee to enhance your alertness on the road. After all, it is better to be an hour late to your journey than sorry.
Learn Some DIY Car Skills
Since you will be driving, the responsibility may lie on you to carry out a few repairs when you encounter any problem on the road.
Are you experiencing a smoky engine or have a flat? It is your responsibility to address them.
Having a few auto skills under your sleeves is necessary when the need arises, even after getting maintenance before the trip. If you have been driving for a while, you know how frustrating a dead battery can be.
Learning how to jumpstart your car can be useful since you can’t always count on a mechanic to come to your rescue, especially when traveling an unfamiliar route.
Pack Some Emergency Supplies
You can’t embark on a road trip without carrying an emergency kit. The good thing is your emergency supplies don’t have to be too expensive and hard to pack.
Not sure where to start? Pack water, warm blankets, jump leads, flashlights, sun cream, a fully charged cell phone, and some repair tools.
You can also sign up for a roadside assistance plan. Ensure you know the numbers to call during an emergency and what cover your plan includes.
Stock on Snacks
During a road trip, it is important to maintain your energy by eating well and staying hydrated. You can select a range of foods and snacks, combining some savory and sweet, nutritious fast foods.
It’s also critical to keep enough water on hand. When traveling in the middle of nowhere, you never know what could happen.
For your next road trip, some healthy snacks choices can include cookies, protein bars, dried fruit, granola bars, and hard-boiled eggs.
Learn the Best Route
When planning your routes, consider the times of day when you’ll be going through big towns to avoid the rush hours. You can also research routes with ongoing road works and consider alternative paths.
Fortunately, you can use a few online route-planning apps and websites that offer several route alternatives and notify you of possible traffic hotspots.
You can also plan your route to include some tourist destinations or attractions you would love to see. After all, what is the point of a road trip if you can’t catch glimpses of some sightings en route?
It may extend the trip but will make it more enjoyable. If you are traveling with your family or kids, breaking the monotony will be an exciting experience.
Check the Weather
The weather is important for vacationers since it may impact driving conditions. If you must drive on snowy roads, ensure your van has winter tires and snow chains.
Summer travelers should avoid overheating their vehicles, check their tire pressure, and keep a few water bottles on hand. Likewise, keep an eye out for moving storms and stay updated on the local weather forecast.
Consider Day Driving
When traveling, you cannot expect all roads to be in the best shape; some could be dangerous, especially at night. To avoid any uncomfortable situation, it is generally best to begin the journey early in the morning.
This will allow you to cover a longer distance during the day and give you more time to experience the destination.
Since there will be more light during the day, you will experience less strain on your eyes when the darkness comes.
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