Cross-country road trips are the best. A car full of snacks, music, open road, and best friends are a recipe for the perfect adventure. However, road trips are not all fun and games. They require a lot of planning and preparation and on top of that, open roads have their dangers and driving for long hours demands a lot of attention and focus.
Sure, we might sound like old, joyless people, but don’t worry. All these safety issues have easy solutions and we are here to show them to you. So buckle up, pun intended, and let’s start right away with the most important one.
First, you will need to have a working car. No-brainer, right? Of course, you need to have a working car, but you won’t believe how many people neglect this part. Road trips are taxing on both the driver and the car. That is why you should both be in a top shape.
Most people make a mistake by thinking that their car runs perfectly, and maybe it does on short rides around the city, but driving for multiple hours is a completely different thing. Make sure that you do a complete car inspection before you hit the road or you will end up somewhere in the middle of nowhere with a busted engine or a flat tire.
Follow the rules
Rules are there for your safety, especially when it comes to driving. Little things like putting on a seatbelt can drastically increase your safety if you are in an accident. We feel that this is repeated year after year, but many people still don’t take seatbelts seriously. Another no-brainer is the speed limit. Don’t rush and respect the rules of the road, otherwise, you are risking getting a ticket or even worse causing an accident.
Besides these two, you should also respect emergency rules. For example, if your car breaks down mark it properly so that someone else doesn’t run into you, especially if it’s night time. That means reflective triangles, reflective vest, all turn signals on, etc.
Prepare for emergencies
Even if you prepare for your road trip thoroughly and your car runs flawlessly, you should always prepare for any kind of emergencies. Cars have a lot of moving parts and anything can break down at any moment, but flat tires, busted engines, and running out of fuel are the most common ones. It will be your job to prepare for such situations.
For the flat tire, there’s an easy solution. Simply have a spare one. Broken engines and fuel shortage are a bit trickier. If your engine breaks down, your only way out is to call a towing service and hope that the malfunction isn’t serious. If you run out of fuel, you can walk to the nearest station if it’s in the reasonable walking distance or you can call an emergency petrol delivery. A lot of towing companies offer this service, so write down a couple of numbers and call them if something like this happens.
Lastly, for the safety of your passengers and your own safety make rest stops as often as you can. Don’t be one of those drivers that tries to cover as much distance as they can in one run. Make regular stops at petrol stations, fast food restaurants, etc. Even if you don’t feel tired you should stop every two or so hours to stretch your legs and get something to drink or eat. Additionally, if you plan to drive during the night make sure that you are well rested and stocked with snacks and drinks. It will make the drive a lot more enjoyable.