It’s summer- the season for road trips, and there is nothing that will put a damper a trip like a car accident. Here are some safety trips to ensure a smooth ride.
1. Go in for a tune-up. It’s important to make sure everything is in good, working condition before you commit to a road trip. Check all fluid levels, tire pressure, turn signals, horns, headlights, and make sure there is a spare tire and a jack in your vehicle.
2. Make sure you are well-rested. Getting a good night's sleep is crucial before road trips. Accordingly to the NHTSA, driving while tired/ drowsy contributes to 100,000 accidents annually. If you begin to feel tired, pull over at a rest area, get out, walk around, stretch, respond to emails/ texts, drink some water, and then if needed switch drivers.
3. Stay off your phone. Don’t reach for your phone to answer calls, messages, or emails. If you need to reply to someone, pull over on the road. Even if you use voice messaging or are hands-free when answering calls, it can still lead to distractions as your focus may stray away more from the road.
4. Come prepared. Even if you think the chance of an accident or car problem is highly unlikely, come prepared for the worst. Some basic items to remember to bring are the following:
- Jumper Cables
- A first-aid kit
- A spare tire + jack
- A flashlight
- A charged cell phone
5. Check that your luggage is stored properly. Make sure your luggage is properly stowed away in the car so if you encounter any sudden stops or any changes in traffic you won’t have to worry about your things falling or moving around.
6. Plan your trip. Look into the distance and figure out the best times to leave to avoid heavy traffic so your trip doesn’t end up taking longer than expected. Map your route and have a back-up from your phone GPS incase you have to go through a long area with no signal and get turned around.
7. Share the road. Make sure you are aware of the other cars, motorcycles, and trucks that you are sharing the road with. Use your turn signals properly and ensure there is enough space between you and the vehicle in front of you incase of a sudden stop in traffic.