With summer in full bloom, many families are starting to prepare for road trips. Road trips are a great way to spend time with your family, but there are some safety tips you should know. Keep reading to learn the top 10 safety tips to help you and your family have a safe and enjoyable vacation on the road.
Always have your car checked before a family road trip. Change the car oil regularly and perform battery checks. In case of a breakdown, pull over and turn on the hazard lights, call for help and set up safety triangles 20 meters behind your car.
Always have a seat belt, including kids and booster seats. Children under 13 should always ride in the backseat. In addition, a parent shouldn’t leave a child or pet unattended in the car. A car may heat up quickly in warm weather, causing a potential accident.
Make Scheduled Stops
A well-planned journey will include comfort stops that benefit both the passengers and driver. Plan regular leg-stretching stops and consider an overnight stop on a long drive. On average, truckers take 30 minutes on their breaks on the road. This is a great amount of time to recharge that could also benefit you on a family vacation.
Avoid Distractions and Don’t Drive When Sleepy
Long journeys can make children restless, frustrated, or mischievous. To prevent boredom, set up a spotting activity where kids are rewarded for identifying road signs or carrying a puzzle book to keep them occupied.
In addition, keep away from your mobile phone and avoid texting or receiving calls when driving. You can ask your family members to respond to calls or texts or pull over to a safe place.
Fatigue is among the leading causes of accidents. A parent has so much to do, and driving for a long period can cause drowsiness. Aim at getting 7-9 hours of sleep every night, and if you feel exhausted, take a break and only drive when okay.
Do Not Speed
Avoid speeding no matter how rushed you are. Always observe the speed limit to keep your family safe on the road and slow down in construction zones. At least 20% of commercial cars crash yearly. While there are many reasons for this, speeding is a huge factor. Make sure you slow down and take your time to ensure you reach your destination safely.
Practice Defensive Driving and Drive Safely at Night
Defensive driving is vital to keeping your family safe on the road. Always be watchful of other drivers and be ready for other drivers’ bad choices. Allow two to four seconds between you and the car in front. This gives you enough time to react to emergencies.
Night driving is more dangerous due to rush hour, exhaustion, night blindness, and drunk drivers. As a parent, learn ways to overcome nighttime driving anxiety and wear anti-glare glasses to help prevent glare from storefronts, streetlights, and car lights. Nighttime driving can be dangerous for families.
Be Prepared for Weather Change
Unexpected weather changes can cause stress when going on a family trip. As a parent, it’s not easy to predict the weather, but you can check the weather forecast from the National Weather Service. If the weather condition worsens, avoid rushing to the destination and stop at a parking lot or hotel.
Carry Emergency Kits
A trip can lead to the unexpected, so be prepared for any emergency. Have a car emergency kit, flashlights, flat tire repair kit, and fire extinguisher. If your car breaks, ask for assistance. Research shows that tows accounted for 48% of roadside assistance, while battery-boosting cases were 25% in 2018. Being stranded with a nonoperating vehicle can be scary, but rest assured there are emergency services to help if you find yourself in this situation.
Don’t Drink and Drive
About 40% of car crash deaths involve alcohol, and 60% of children killed in accidents are passengers, according to NSC. As a parent, it’s best to take responsibility for the family’s safety and avoid drunken driving. Apart from causing accidents, you can get higher fines for DUI.
Car smells signify danger. For instance, an awful smell can indicate overheated pads, oil overflow, or a faulty catalytic converter. So, develop a sense of smell in your vehicle.
A family trip is a wonderful way to spend time with your family and explore various places. However, you need to observe safety measures to keep your family safe on the road. Always stay alert, get enough sleep, don’t drink and drive and practice defensive driving.