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Are You Prepared? Road Trip Safety Tips

Road trips can be a fun and exciting way to travel; they can also be a bit dangerous. While it can be a bit dreary to discuss, many travel deaths occur on the road, related to motor vehicle traffic. If you are planning a road trip use these road trip safety tips to make sure you have an amazing and safe trip!

Time – Plan Accordingly

Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get where you are going. If this is a long trip that ends with you at a certain place for an event or at a scheduled time you’ll need to be a studious planner! Schedule in lots of extra time for breaks, sightseeing, and to ensure you are not rushing if you become lost! There is always a chance you will take a wrong turn, extra time scheduled in can make sure you don’t have to panic! Some of the best sights are off the beaten path where you least expect to find them. If you have plenty of time you won’t need to speed which can save you on tickets as well as accidents!

Know Your Route

I know we all live in the age of cell phones and GPS but you should carry a map or atlas as well. There will places, especially if you get lost, that do not have cell phone service. If you don’t have a signal or GPS cuts out you don’t want to be stressed and feeling abandoned! If you have an idea of your route ahead of time you won’t be making last minute lane changes or turns which can help keep you from accidents! If you do need to check your route make sure you pull over to a safe location and park before fumbling with maps or devices.

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Vehicle Maintenance / Checks

Always check your vehicle before you take off and after each stop. Pack a car care kit that has some necessary supplies for maintaining your vehicle. A small amount of extra gasoline, some engine oil, a tire pressure gauge, and tire repair kit can all come in useful during long trips. You never know when something may happen and being prepared will keep you out of danger. Make sure all lights, signals, and wipers are working before you start moving each time. Simple things like broken or missing tail lights can end up causing accidents!

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Travel with Someone

Traveling alone can be unsafe if you’re not careful, especially on long road trips. Take along a trusted companion to help take on some of the driving as well as aid in managing maps, routes, and devices while the car is moving. You can avoid being distracted with a helpful copilot by your side. It is also dangerous to travel alone when you are tired. Your copilot can chat with you, play music or sing, or do whatever is needed to keep you alert if you start to get into a monotonous driving drowsiness! Even better, when traveling with someone you can pull over and switch drivers to stay safe. Of course if you are on a solo travel adventure, it’s even more important to plan and take care so you can stay safe on your journey!

Sleep, Exercise, Plan

The three cardinal rules of long road trips are planning, exercise, and getting plenty of sleep. Sleep should be pretty self-explanatory; make sure you get enough sleep because sitting still and staring at a road for several hours in a row can be boring and dangerous when you are tired. Exercise is a fun one; get out every so often and jump around. Get the blood flowing. Run some sprints. Practice your ninja moves in the rest stop parking lot. Have fun with it, this movement will keep you alert and also free of blood clots and other dangerous health problems that can strike after long periods of inactivity

And again, planning is your best friend on a road trip. Know where you are headed and how you plan to get there. Being lost during the day and with plenty of fuel is one thing but the opposite can be dangerous and ruin a trip. Planning is especially important if you are traveling in a rental vehicle or unfamiliar vehicle. Make sure you are ready for any scenario and your trip will go off without a hitch!

How do you stay safe on long road trips?

Planning a road trip or getting ready to head out on a roadtrip? Don't leave home before you go over these 5 basic tips for road trip safety!

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Comments

  1. The only thing I can add to this, is to research the area you’re planning to travel through, some cities and areas are a bit more dangerous to motorists than others, not just in terms of other drivers or crime, but wildlife crossing the road late at night when vision is poor. It just helps reduce having a very bad accident or tragic consequence from what should just be a very enjoyable trip. This one comes from experience, and a friend who has lost the use of both legs after hitting an antelope in the dead of night.

    Otherwise, it’s great to see an article aimed at preparing road-trippers, it doesn’t seem to happen nearly enough anymore in this fast-paced world.

    • That’s a great tip Luke! We always take that into account when driving up to Edmonton since we pass through a major national park with a lot of wildlife. We’ve also had a few uneasy situations of needing gas and pulling over in areas that didn’t make us feel the most secure. It’s hard to know that though when you’re not familiar with the area, so planning and research beforehand is a great tip.

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