Road trips are one of life’s greatest lessons. It opens you up to new and exciting territories, it forces you to think more about what you want in life, but it also forces you to be a better driver. If you are planning on a road trip, there’s a number of things you can do to make sure you are ready for the roads in terms of your vehicle and yourself.
Get the Vehicle in Shape
A lot of driving safely is about common sense, but the first thing you should do is make sure the car is going to make you safer on the road. Making sure that you check the lights, wipers, tires, brakes, fluid levels, and if there’s any odd noises or leaks will ensure that everything is in peak working condition.
The fact is that you can do everything to be safe on the road, but if one of your tires is worn to the point that it impacts your ability to break on time, don’t be surprised if you end up in an accident. The fallout of an accident is not just about the damage to the car and yourself, but there’s the legal ramifications too. A car accident lawyer will very likely take you to court if you’re found to be the cause of an accident, so the best place to begin is to make sure your vehicle is in the best condition.
Pack an Emergency Kit
We always need to be ready for something to go wrong. When you sign up for a roadside assistance plan, this can give you a lot more peace of mind if your car breaks down on a long drive. You can find your local AAA online and get yourself set up. When we’re out in the middle of nowhere, we need to make sure that we are ready for whatever happens. A car emergency kit should include some of the following:
- Jumper cables.
- Tools to change your tires.
- High visibility jackets and cones.
- Spare food.
- First Aid Kit.
It’s always important to have a first aid kit ready because so many people go out unprepared. If you don’t have a first aid kit, they are cheap enough to buy. So if you are in the middle of nowhere you can, at the very least, be safe and warm.
While driving has a lot to do with common sense, when we are going from state to state or country to country, we can almost forget about certain rules of the road or be completely oblivious to them. If you are planning on driving in another country it’s essential that you understand what their rules are. It’s important to not be complacent when we’re driving in other countries, especially when it comes to road signs. If you are driving across Europe, you are going through a number of different countries with their own road signs, so you should go online and find the Highway Code relative to that area.
In addition, you also need to be driving within the speed limit. It sounds simple, but so many people think that speeding is acceptable as long as they don’t get caught. You are going on roads that you have no clue about, and lots of people speed because they know what is coming and think they can navigate a bend in the road easier. You do not have that luxury, so do not run the risk.
It’s not just about obeying it because it’s the law, but the faster you go, the longer it takes for your car to slow down or come to a stop. Your reaction times are reduced, and if you are driving at night or with a number of distractions in the car, a split second is all it takes to come off the road and have an accident. The best solution to make sure that you are not speeding is to plan way ahead. Get Google Maps, know where you’re going, and start your journey much earlier.
Keeping Your Wits About You
We can be prepared, but if there is another idiot on the road, this could be all it takes to cause an accident. This is where defensive driving is a critical tool. It’s important to remove yourself from any dangerous situation as soon as possible by doing some of the following:
- Keeping your distance when there are other aggressive drivers.
- Keeping an eye out for the signs of other drivers behaving dangerously.
- Constantly checking your blind spots.
- Always knowing what is around you.
While all of these things can be very difficult, if there is a driver pressurizing you to speed up, you don’t want to fall into their trap.
Don’t Drive While Sleepy
If you are fighting sleep after so many miles on the road, it can put you in as much danger as driving under the influence of alcohol. Road trips tend to comprise longer drives, so if you have trouble keeping your head up, daydreaming a lot, or find yourself feeling hypnotized by the lines on the road, you need to pull over as soon as possible. The reality is that so many people drive tired but it is not worth the risk. You may think that you’ll get there sooner if you push through, but there could be a much more devastating outcome.
A road trip is meant to be an experience like no other. We have to remember that the vast majority of our road trip will be spent driving. While you need to plan your journey and ensure you can rest while also enjoying every stop, you also need to guarantee you are able to drive as safely as possible. We can all think about a road trip as the glorious open road with no one else on a highway, but this is when we start to become complacent, and when we take our attention off the road to enjoy that sunset, this is when an accident could happen.