Road trips are one of the best ways to travel, and nothing quite beats the fun and thrill of loading up your car with all of your bags and hitting the open road, feeling the spirit of adventure flowing through as you set off to explore the world, often with good friends or loving family by your side.
First thing first, safety is always a priority and make sure you have the right auto insurance before embarking on a road trip adventure.
Statistics show that Americans are enjoying more road trips than ever before, and it’s easy to understand why. These kinds of vacations offer a lot of advantages, from the freedom to go wherever you want to the comfort of being able to take all the items you need without needing to worry about weight limits or restrictions.
Road trips are also endlessly versatile. You can go all the way across the country to see something totally new and different, or stay local and explore the natural and man-made wonders of your very own state. You can plan it all out, with a detailed, in-depth itinerary, or you can simply see where the mood takes you, making spontaneous decisions each passing day.
The choice is truly yours, but one thing to always bear in mind when planning a road trip is the importance of staying safe. Driving long distances and traveling around unfamiliar locations can potentially lead to some dangerous situations, so here are our top tips to help you have the safest and most enjoyable road trip!
Have a Plan
As stated above, one of the best things about road trips is that they can be as programmed or unpredictable as you like. It’s up to you whether you want to make a detailed list of all the places you want to visit or if you just prefer to pick a direction and see what happens.
While it can be fun to have a totally spontaneous road trip, having at least a vague plan is often a good idea. Knowing roughly which way you want to go and have a few things on your ‘to-do list’ will help to give your journey purpose and direction, allowing everyone to stay focused and reduce the risks of getting lost or simply having a boring time if you don’t find anything fun.
Learn the Local Rules and Laws
Another important key for having a safe and successful road trip is to get the lay of the land in regard to the places you plan on visiting. Don’t forget that rules and laws can vary from state to state. One state might have a totally different view on something like child car seats or drunk driving laws, for instance.
Knowing the rules and regulations in each place you plan on visiting will help you a lot in the long run, and those who are unprepared can even find themselves in trouble with the law if they enter a state unaware of differences in things like speed limits, for example.
Road trips involve a whole lot of driving, and even when you’re staying relatively local to your own home, you’ll still probably spend hours sitting behind the wheel, often having to navigate unfamiliar roads and places you might never have driven around in the past.
All of this can increase the risks of accidents happening, so make sure to pay special attention to your driving, keeping your hands on the wheel, your eyes on the road, and your concentration levels high to reduce the chances of ending up in an accident or dangerous situation.
Take Breaks When Needed
Following on from the previous point, it’s important not to push yourself too hard on a road trip. Sometimes, travelers can feel pressured into trying to do as much as possible, visit as many places as they can, and cover a massive number of miles every single day.
However, this pressure can cause problems if you start getting tired behind the wheel or find yourself losing focus. Don’t be afraid to take a pause and adjust your plans to let the driver get some rest, as and when they need it. If you’re traveling with friends or family members, you can even set-up a rota that allows different drivers to take the wheel throughout the day.
Distracted driving is one of the worst problems on America’s roads in the modern world. It leads to countless accidents and huge numbers of injuries and even deaths every single year, and so much of the damage that is done could have been avoided if people weren’t so eager to look at their phones and let themselves lose focus.
Don’t let yourself become another distracted driving statistic. Make sure to avoid using your phone while driving around, don’t let yourself get into deep discussions or arguments with fellow passengers while riding along, and do whatever you need to do to keep your focus firmly on the road and your surroundings to help everybody stay as safe as possible.
Pack with Care
Packing is often seen as one of the most boring parts of any vacation or road trip, but it’s an absolutely essential activity that needs to be taken seriously. After all, you don’t want to find yourself miles from home without some key item that you forgot to pack, like a charger for your phone or essential medical supplies for the kids.
Make sure you take the time necessary to pack properly. You can find useful checklists online that walk you through all the most important items to bring along on your trip, or you can make your own checklist, and it’s often wise to start packing a week or two before the adventure, rather than leaving everything for the last minute.
When everything goes right, road trips can give you some of your most exciting experiences and happiest memories, but if something goes wrong, the whole trip can be ruined. Keep these tips in mind and prepare for your next road trip the right way to make sure you have the best and safest time possible.