Do you have plans to hit the road with your family this season? If you’re properly prepared, road trips are a great way to see the country, discover new places, and add adventure on the way to your destination. But as we mentioned, preparedness is key. When you take time to plan and follow these 10 road trip tips, you’re guaranteed a safer and more enjoyable ride.
- Plan out your route. This includes the driving route to your destination as well as overnight stays, food stops, and even restroom breaks. You and your copilot can focus on the road and a safe ride.
- Eat during stops. Once you’ve identified your pit stops for snack and meal breaks, if you’re driving, try to limit eating to those stops. It’s much safer to finish your food before hitting the road so you’re not multitasking or taking your hands or eyes off the wheel.
- Plan around peak traffic. If possible, plan to drive through major cities during off-hours. Getting stuck in rush hour traffic can add stress and risk to busy roads.
- Check the forecast. The safest day for a drive is a dry one. Look at the radar in advance and check it again before you leave. If foggy, icy, snowy, or wet conditions are imminent, see if you can rearrange your route or departure time (or even stay the night somewhere along the trip).
- Get a good night’s rest. Drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as impaired driving. Get a full night of sleep before hitting the road. If you have a long haul, set up a rotation so your passenger can rest while you drive and take over when you start feeling tired.
- Service your vehicle in advance. Are you due for an oil change? Is your tire pressure low? Has it been a while since your last tune-up? Before any lengthy road trip, take your car to a service station or dealership.
- Reduce distractions in the front seat. It can be distracting when your front seat passenger is watching a show or doing another activity that pulls your attention from the road. Ask them if they’ll act as another set of eyes and help by controlling the radio, temperature, and navigation.
- Keep kids entertained. A long ride can be made longer with rowdy or restless passengers. If your kids are along for the road trip, keep them entertained with fun snacks, activities, and stretch breaks. These four printable games are a great place to start.
- Have an emergency kit on hand. In the event of a flat tire or car issue, have towing numbers handy and an emergency safety kit in the trunk. See the 14 safety items to keep in your car.
- Tow or haul safely. If you’re transporting a boat, towing a trailer, or have bikes or a car-top carrier attached to your vehicle, put safety first. Ensure all trailer lights are working and visible. Secure items to the roof or trunk with reliable cords or straps. If you see any movement out of the rearview mirror while you’re driving, safely exit the highway and refasten the items. It’s also helpful to periodically stop and check these items intermittently throughout your trip.
Looking for more road trip tips? Curious if your car has the auto coverage it needs for your next vacation? Talk to a local, independent agent today.