Road trips are tons of fun, right?
About 78% of people agree that they love the fond memories they make when they go on road trips, and long car rides are enjoyable. However, road trips have their fair share of downsides, such as traffic and the possibility of car accidents. With the average person projected to have at least one car accident in their lifetime, car safety tips can come in handy during your next long-distance drive.
Every year, America experiences an average of 6 million car accidents, 6% of which lead to fatalities. It only takes one second to have a profound effect on your lives, which could be permanent for some of you. For this reason, it’s imperative that you observe road safety during your next road trip.
- 0.1 1. Make Sure Your Car Is Fit for the Trip
- 0.2 2. Get Enough Sleep and Avoid Drowsing on the Road
- 0.3 3. Eliminate All Distractions
- 0.4 4. Always Stay on the Speed Limit
- 0.5 5. Practice Defensive Driving
- 0.6 6. Store Items Appropriately
- 0.7 7. Pack an Emergency Kit
- 1 Car Safety Tips: The Most Essential Road Trip Safety Tips You Must Know
1. Make Sure Your Car Is Fit for the Trip
When going on a road trip, road safety must start with the condition of your car. More than anything else, your vehicle must be ready for the road trip, so you need to have a checklist that covers everything to ensure optimum performance of the road. If it has been a while before you changed your oil, this may be a great time to do it.
A long trip can be more stressful than regular drives. Note that extra oil is not the same thing as changing your oil because the sludge from the old oil will still be in the tank. Apart from the oil, make sure you check that all fluid levels are topped off, including windscreen wash, brake fluids, and coolant.
This will prevent unnecessary breakdowns on the road and minimize any chances of incidents that could lead to accidents. Check the air pressure of your tires and make sure that every tire is safe for the journey.
In addition to that, check your car’s air filter, ensure the lights and signals are working properly, check the battery, brake responsiveness, odd noises, any leaks, and that everything is working. Then, wash your car thoroughly before the trip. Road trip safety always has to start with the car so make sure it’s in top condition.
2. Get Enough Sleep and Avoid Drowsing on the Road
Drowsy driving costs as much as $12 billion in losses and over 15,000 deaths every year. The injuries are usually on the higher side, a reason in itself for you to avoid driving while tired during your road trip. This is hands down one of the best tips for long driving, so do not overlook it in the name of getting to your destination faster.
Whenever you feel tired or drowsy, the best thing to do is pull over at the most convenient stop and rest for a while. A better option is for you to plan your trip ahead and plan the best stops for you to take a rest before you continue with your drive.
If you have multiple people traveling with you that can take turns driving, it can be safer as it’ll allow you to take naps whenever you feel tired. Drinking coffee can also help you stay alert, but if you feel any doubt about how sleepy you are, it’s always better to park in a safe place and take a nap.
3. Eliminate All Distractions
One of the most vital car safety tips is to eliminate all distractions because failing to focus on the road poses a greater risk while driving. Your attention should always be on the road because multitasking is another dangerous cause of road accidents. Given that this is a road trip, there’s a very high chance you’re traveling in a group, and the best thing you can do is lay some ground rules before you start a journey.
There’s nothing wrong with talking, but if there will be any shouting, singing, jostling, or other distracting activities, it’s advisable to pull over for a while. Beyond that, different people should be in charge of different tasks such as checking the map or changing the music. Texting or taking calls while driving should also be avoided, and the person in charge of driving should only concentrate on driving and nothing else.
4. Always Stay on the Speed Limit
Some things like staying at the speed limit may seem like common sense, but you would be surprised at the number of people who do not follow car safety tips and rules. Many people feel that pushing a little bit over the speed limit is perfectly okay to reach the destination faster.
However, speeding, no matter how little you over-speed or how relatively safe it seems, always poses a danger. You see, over-speeding is prohibited because the faster you move, the harder it will be for you to slow down or come to a stop. This means that you will have very little time to react to a dangerous situation, which could lead to an accident.
For instance, suppose a deer came on the road unexpectedly, and you were unable to break at the right time. You would either swerve or hit the deer, both of which will result in an accident. To avoid overspending, set off earlier to avoid being late and keep track of your speed for optimum safety.
5. Practice Defensive Driving
How do you know what defensive driving is? It’s one of the best car safety tips you will come across because it will help you understand how to avoid car accidents. Defensive driving is about being aware of what other drivers on the road are doing and being on the lookout for any potential incidents that could lead to accidents.
Be prepared to handle any kind of situation and know what you would do if something were to happen. For instance, if you notice a driver is over speeding and looking to cut you off, the best course of action is to extract yourself from the situation. It’s important for you to understand the blind spots and how to check them.
Watch out for erratic drivers and keep off when you notice them acting this way. All this may sound easy, but a lot of people always feel the need to rise up to the challenge from other drivers whenever they feel they are in their right. However, it’s a lot better to be safe than to be right, so avoid getting into a conflict with drivers to avoid potential accidents.
Remember to keep a safe distance from other vehicles, which will help you avoid hazards. During bad weather, or when close to large trucks with severe blind spots, add a little extra distance.
6. Store Items Appropriately
It’s advisable to lock everything down to avoid movements while driving. If you drive a truck, a tonneau cover will help to keep bed organizers and storages securely in place during travel. Additionally, one of the most important car safety tips you should not overlook is not to pick fallen items while driving and keep the essentials close by.
7. Pack an Emergency Kit
Even when you practice safe driving, sometimes accidents are unavoidable, and it’s always advisable to have an emergency kit close by. Your kit needs to have a first-aid kit, water, blanket, a fully charged phone, tire-changing tools, and spare clothes.
Go the extra mile and pack high-visibility jackets or cones, a flashlight, and jumper cables. Beyond that, having a subscription to a roadside assistance plan can also save you a lot of trouble if you end up stranded somewhere. Have an essential contact list for the people you would reach in case of an emergency and your law firm number in case you need an injury lawyer.
Car Safety Tips: The Most Essential Road Trip Safety Tips You Must Know
Road trips make some of the most memorable times for most of us, but you must follow these car safety tips to get there safely. Plan everything prior to your journey, make sure the car is in great condition and set off early to avoid rushing.
Now that you know what to do on your next road trip, please check out our blog for more informative and valuable posts.