Road trips remain one of the most popular ways to travel in 2022, with over 80% of US travelers planning to get behind the wheel. If you are also planning a road trip, take the time to buckle in and learn road trip safety.
Road trips offer a unique experience, unlike other forms of vacation. You can get off the beaten path, discover hidden gems, move at your own pace, and save money. But to enjoy the journey, you also need to be safe.
Staying safe on a road trip is easy if you take precautions. So, take the time to read these road trip safety tips to have the safe road trip adventure you deserve.
1. Get Your Car Road Ready
One of the first steps is knowing how to prepare your car for a road trip. You should take several steps, including having a road trip vehicle check-up. A professional service tests your brakes, clutches, tires, engines, and other tune-ups, so your car is in the best condition for the drive.
They can also perform an oil change and other steps, which can quickly cause issues when on the road. An oil change keeps everything moving in your car and prevents breakdown issues. Tune-ups will also ensure your vehicle is safe to drive.
While you cannot prevent all issues when on the road, prevention is critical. You could end up with more costly repairs or even have to stop your road trip early if you run into issues during your adventure.
Start by searching ‘mechanic near me’ or ‘best auto repair shops’ and check reviews for reputable car maintenance services. You can also search for your specific car brand, such as ‘Mazda mechanic’ or ‘Toyota repair near me.’
2. Prepare Yourself
The importance of sleep is no secret, but 25% of US adults report that they are not getting a sufficient amount. Sleep is essential to stay alert, healthy, and calm. These are all critical attributes to have on your road trip, so get enough sleep before your trip as preparation.
Also, be sure to have the right insurance and documentation for driving. You do not want to run into costly legal issues while on the road.
Also, charge your electronic items and consider portable charging devices if you cannot charge in your car. You might need your phone for emergencies or as a GPS.
3. Know the Route
While a road trip is flexible and a time to be spontaneous, take the time to know the route details. You do not have to memorize them, but knowing key information such as long distances between gas stations, top tourist spots, and accommodation details is helpful.
You also want to check the weather forecast before venturing out on your adventure. Do you have the right gear for the conditions?
Knowing the route can help prepare yourself and your car accordingly. If there are dust roads or tricky conditions, assess whether your vehicle is up to the task or whether it would be best to rent a more suitable car.
4. Tell Someone Your Plans
Tell a friend or loved one where you plan to go on your road trip. Also, save their numbers as emergency contacts on your phone and have a plan in place if you do not make contact by a specific date. It is more for them than you, so you can enjoy the benefits of being in nature without them worrying.
5. Pack Right
Do not leave your road trip packing until the last minute. You want to go prepared with the right items. These include:
- Car maintenance tools
- First aid kit
- Chains or something for traction
- A good playlist
- Jumper cables
- Warm clothes
- Blankets and pillows
- Water and snacks
Be sure to have a spare tire and the other necessary car tools if anything occurs on the road. When you go for your car maintenance check, they should also advise on the tools your car needs. Also, store all the important numbers you need, including a car breakdown service.
It is useful to have sufficient supplies, a first aid kit, warm clothes, and other items if something happens when you are on the road. You also want good playlists and other entertainment for family members to keep everyone happy, so you do not have to worry about being distracted.
6. Get Smart With Gas
With gas prices increasing, be sure to drive safely and efficiently on the road. Maintain a moderate speed within limits, ensure your tires have the proper pressure and accelerate slowly.
It is also helpful to have a rough idea of gas prices in advance to budget accordingly. Also, consider having resources to store gas if you are planning a remote road trip.
7. Be Safe and Alert
Staying safe on a road trip starts at your planning stage and continues throughout your adventure. Taking breaks to remain alert and removing distractions is essential for long-distance driving safety. Keep music to a reasonable level and if you are with others, make them aware that you need to focus on the road.
Also, always use your seatbelts and stick to speed limits; they are there for a reason! Keep your eyes on the road for hazards and only stop in designated lay-bys, no matter how great the scenery is. Also, consider sharing driving responsibilities with other insured drivers to avoid fatigue.
8. Enjoy Your Journey
Road trip safety is essential, but it is also important you enjoy the journey. Take the right precautions and be safe, but also relax. Stress can be a danger in itself, so take deep breaths and remind yourself you are on vacation!
Start Your Road Trip Safety Preparation
Make sure your road trip lives up to expectations by following these essential road trip safety tips. As they say, preparation is better than cure. It never hurts to be prepared, and it will give you peace of mind to fully enjoy the journey.
Are you ready to start preparing for your road trip? The first step is to find the best auto repair shops for your road trip vehicle check-up.
If you are based in Columbus, OH, ATL Total Car Care is here to help. We offer car alignment, tune-ups, and other essential services to get your car ready for your road trip. Schedule an appointment today to get started.