Your bags are packed. The car’s loaded up. Your security system is set. But are you really ready to hit the road? Whether it’s summer vacation time or you’re getting one last fall trip in before winter, it’s always important to consider safety tips on the road. Check out our latest round up of road trip safety guidelines to make sure your getaway is as secure and enjoyable as it can be.
1. Check Your Vehicle
Before leaving for your trip, make sure your car is ready to make the journey. No matter how far you are actually traveling, there’s nothing like car trouble to ruin a trip. Take your vehicle to your local mechanic (someone you trust of course!) to ensure that everything is working properly. That includes tires, battery, belts, fluids, and air conditioner. If you plan to travel to a hot climate, or plan to tow a boat or trailer, check to see if you need motor oil with a higher viscosity.
2. Be Mentally & Physically Prepared
When planning a vacation that will require a lot of driving, it is essential you get a good night’s sleep. Statistics show driving while drowsy is a contributing factor to over 100,000 accidents every year. Always use caution on the road. And if you’re traveling with multiple people, plan to switch drivers every few hours if possible.
3. Bring A Safety Kit
Every car should have a safety kit in case of an emergency. It is hard to predict everything you may need, but some basic supplies include water, warm blankets, a flashlight, jumper cables, flares, a tool kit to change a tire, a first aid kit, snacks, and a phone charger.
4. Make Sure Your Home is Secure
You might not think safety tips on the road would include the place you’re leaving from. But the last thing you want to worry about is whether or not your home is protected while you’re away. Make sure you properly arm your home security system. You might even consider asking a friend or neighbor to check in on it. And if you utilize home automation features like doorbell cameras, you can check in on your property no matter where you are!
5. Buy A Roadside Assistance Plan
Unfortunately, no matter how much you prepare, accidents can happen. Which is why a roadside assistance plan works perfectly as a little extra insurance. This is especially important if you plan to travel a far distance. Whether you purchase it from a travel company, or your dealer, be sure you can always get help when you need it most.
6. Secure The Backseat
Traveling with children or pets? Ensure that child safety locks are activated for doors and windows that could be within reach. If you’re also packing luggage in the same seating area, make sure it is also secure and not at risk of injuring passengers. Look around for any potential choking hazards as well. And if you’re utilizing car seats, always read the instructions for proper installation.
7. Pack The Vehicle Strategically
When packing the vehicle, make sure heavy items are secured first. When the car is traveling at high speeds, everything in the car is as well. You wouldn’t want anything heavy to hurt someone if you need to slam on the breaks. A packed-to-the-gills car can also limit your ability to see out of all of your mirrors. Be sure you have clear visibility of other drivers before hitting the road.
8. Adjust Your Posture
As the driver, make sure you are sitting in an upright position. Slouching can make you feel drowsy and uncomfortable. Many people tend to sit too far or too close to their steering wheel. To be in the proper driving position, your legs and elbows should be bent so you can exert a strong pressure onto the brake and so you have adequate leverage to easily to turn the wheel. Plus, who wants to have a sore back on vacation?
9. Don’t Be Afraid to Take Breaks
Everyone is in a rush to start their vacation but that is no reason to forego breaks. Stop at a rest stop or switch drivers every two hours. Drinking water will also make you more alert and force you to take regular bathroom breaks. It’s tempting to skip meals, but you should always make sure you’re taking proper care of your body to have enough energy for the trip.
10. Ignore Phone Calls
Never answer the phone while driving. That includes responding to any text messages! Keep your attention on the road in front of you. Even with Bluetooth, talking is still distracting. Set a playlist before you leave, or pass the aux cord to your passengers. You should always stay fully alert to everything that is happening on the road.
11. Avoid Disruptions
It may be hard to control your crying two year old in the backseat, but it is important to limit any other distractions when possible. If you’re traveling with a pet, get them active before you hit the road to tire them out. A little advance planning may be all it takes. Timing your departure to coincide with your infant’s or toddler’s nap schedule can be good for all of you!
For More Security and Home Automation Tips and Solutions, Stick with My Alarm Center
Take the time to prepare for more than just your destination before you leave on your family road trip. Secure the car and the kids, and make sure you’re prepared to handle a few bumps in the road. Just a friendly reminder to keep your family safe and always make smart driving decisions!
And if you’re looking for more ways to keep yourself and your family safe, check out our home security and automation services at My Alarm Center. We offer a wide range of home security options to protect you and your family. If you’re ready to discuss our custom solutions, contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you prepare for what’s next.