Road trips create memories unlike any other mode of travel. Shared experiences along highways and back roads shape stories for years to come. Before packing the car for your next family getaway, consider these recommendations to ensure everyone arrives safely and in good spirits.
A slow vehicle ahead of you can lead to frustration. If you decide to pass, ensure that you are in a safe passing zone. Hills, curves, and intersections limit the visibility of oncoming traffic, so make your move only on flat, open stretches of road. Don’t cross a double yellow line, and never pass a stopped school bus with flashing red lights. Remember to check for someone overtaking you before moving to the left.
Every state requires the use of proper restraints for the occupants of a motor vehicle. If children ride in your car, take the time to research the correct car seats for their weight and age. Don’t rely on “common knowledge.” Keep your kids alive by using the right (and unexpired) safety equipment. Remember to buckle up yourself, and if you bring your pets on a road trip, keep them safe in a harness or crate.
There’s no simpler way to say this. Speed kills. You may want to save time by exceeding the speed limit, but driving faster results in longer reaction times and more serious, even fatal, collisions. In order to stay safe, you should be advised that excessive speeding is dangerous. This is of particular concern at night when darkness and drowsiness affect visibility, leaving you less aware of your surroundings.
Get a Tune-Up
A breakdown on a road trip makes memories, but not good ones. Before hitting the highway, give your car a tune-up. Refill fluids (oil, coolant, washer fluid), if necessary, and check your wiper blades. Confirm that all tires, including the spare, are properly inflated. By doing so, you will save fuel and have a more comfortable ride. Have a friend visually confirm that your headlights, taillights, brake lights and turn signals all work.
A family road trip should be memorable because of new sights and fun experiences, not car trouble, traffic tickets or worse. Properly prepare for your adventure, so you can enjoy the journey. That’s why you’re driving, after all. By being a responsible driver, you can save money, your sanity and maybe even a life.