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Road Trip Safety: 12 Summer Driving Tips You Need to Know

It’s road trip season!

Remember “The Rules of the Road”

Driving laws can vary from place to place but for the most part US driving laws are pretty uniform nationwide.

When you are driving to your vacation destination you want to make sure you are keeping safety first and one of my main ways to do so is paying attention to driving laws.

If you are taking a long road trip it may be helpful to research driving laws in any of the states that you are passing through.  The last thing you want is to get pulled over, or worse, ticketed, for something you were not aware of.

Get a Tune Up

When was the last time that you got new tires?

Before a road trip is a great time to check them for wear and tear. Chances are if you can’t remember the last time you replaced them it might be time.

Check your owners manual to see what the recommended tire pressure is for your car. Too low of tire pressure can result in blowouts and his a major safety hazard.

Head in for an oil change or tire rotation. While you are there get a full checkup by a mechanic. In addition to your tires, you may want to have them take a look at your battery, belts, fluids, and air conditioner.


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Take turns

When you are on a long-haul road trip the brunt of the driving responsibility should not fall on one person.

The passenger in the navigator seat should be responsible not only for navigating but also for keeping an eye on the driver making sure that they are alert and awake.

Switching up the driver will limit driver fatigue.

Safety Checklist

Get your safety kit together. Your car should be equipped with all the essentials if you happen to encounter an emergency along the way.

Your emergency kit should include a variety of different things.  You may want to consider including some of the following:

  • Fire extinguisher
  • Road flares
  • Jumper cables
  • Rain ponchos
  • Tarp
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Duct tape
  • Rags
  • Scent-free baby wipes
  • Multi-purpose tool
  • Drinking water and non-perishable snacks
  • Tools to change a tire
  • Cell phone charger

You may want to include some of the following in your first aid kit:

  • Bandaids
  • Antiseptic
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Bug spray
  • Cotton balls
  • Tweezers
  • Gauze pads
  • Aspirin
  • Ace bandage

When Traveling with Children

Traveling with kids can often add some extra pressure to your road trip.

To start your preparation for a family long-haul car ride you want to check the conditions in the back seat.

Often car seats are not set up properly. This is a good time to ensure everything is buckled in properly. Find a child car seat inspection station near you.

Make sure all child safety locks are enabled on the doors and windows. Look around for choking hazards like knobs that pop off easily or loose change in seat cushions.

Also be sure to remove anything that can be a potential projectile that the child can throw while the vehicle is in motion.

Stop often when you are traveling. Kids need to stop for snack and bathroom breaks but also for some entertainment and fun!

Ignore Phone Calls

This is a difficult one in this day and age. Technology is everywhere.

Although you probably have handsfree capabilities on your phone or in your car it is best to avoid taking calls altogether. Talking on the phone while driving is a major distraction.

If you need to make an important call or send a text message pull over to do so.

Focus on the Road

Distracted driving is the cause of the majority of motor vehicle accidents.

Plan out your entire trip beforehand so that you aren’t worrying about directions and can completely focus on the road.

Keep your gaze far enough down the road so that you can see dangers coming and have time to react

Pets on Board

When you are traveling with pets make sure they are restrained in the back seat and are not going to be a distraction.

When it comes time to stop under no circumstances are you to leave your animal in the car. In the summer months cars, even with the windows open, can reach astronomical temperatures.  Due to that fact that animals do not perspire this can be detrimental to their health.

Let your furry friends out for their snack and bathroom break too!

Gas up Often

Do not wait until you are on E to get gas. When you pass a gas station and can use a fill up do so! You can never be too sure when you are going to pass another gas station and it is better to be safe that sorry.

As soon as you start to near a quarter of a tank fire up the Waze app on your phone and find the nearest gas station.

To cut down on the cost of gas try minimizing the number of times that you start and stop.

Do Not Speed

Though it may be tempting when you are on unfamiliar open roads to cruise, you should avoid doing so.

Not only is this dangerous but speed limits vary in all areas. Try using the Waze app again. This app will tell you if you are going over the speed limit of the road you are on.

Avoid Cruise Control

Cruise control is not your friend when you are tired and have been driving for hours. Not needing to be as alert may cause you to get more drowsy.

Utilizing cruise control is often a direct line to highway hypnosis and this can often cause people to fall asleep at the wheel.

Be Nice to your Rental Car

It is common that people will rent a car when they are going on a long haul trip. You are going to be putting a lot of wear on your rental so try to take the best care of it that you can.

If you are looking to rent a car for your next trip give us a call today.

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