Heading out on an extended trip, either with friends, family, or solo, can be an exciting and personally enriching endeavor. But to keep yourself and others safe, you need to consider some essential road trip safety tips before setting out. From safe driving practices to necessary car maintenance, ensure everything is in order before putting the rubber to the road.
Inspect Your Car
Before anything, make sure that the car you are taking is ready for the journey ahead. Check to see if all the necessary systems are functional, and don’t show any worrying signs of defect. Take the car out for a test drive around town to see if it is running smoothly without any hiccups.
Perform Maintenance Beforehand
There are many components that affect your car’s handling, and if any one of those fail, they can negatively impact your ability to drive. Conversely, repairing certain components can improve your car’s handling.
Get Some Rest Before Driving
The night before a big trip can be exciting, and that extra energy and pep can keep you from getting the full eight hours you need. It is critically important for your own reaction time and situational awareness to get adequate sleep before driving.
A Sleepy Driver Is a Dangerous Driver
While you may not be so tired to the point of passing out at the wheel, your senses can be dulled to the point of recklessness. Driving is a deceptively strenuous activity, and not having all your faculties about you when driving can lead you to accidents that can otherwise be avoided.
Know Where To Go and How To Get There
Have your route planned out beforehand to optimize your drive. This can mean picking the shortest distance to get somewhere faster, taking the scenic route to enjoy the view, or planning to pass by gas stations and restaurants. It’s not enough to know your final destination; you should also put some thought into the important points in between.
GPS or Physical Maps
Knowing where to go is great, but knowing how to get there is equally as valuable. A reliable GPS is easy enough to come by these days, but it can run the risk of failure. While it may not be the most convenient method, having physical maps or printed out directions as available alternatives can save you if your GPS glitches out or stops working.
Leave prepared, Or Stay Home
Being prepared can mean all kinds of things, from having a capable car, packing emergency supplies, or even just having the right mentality. The most essential road trip safety tip is to be prepared for what may come, whether it be your car breaking down, a collision, or planned rest stops.
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