Summer is here and for many families, it’s time to hit the road! Driving is second nature, but it’s easy to forget how to be safe during a long car ride- especially when you’re travelling with kids. Summer driving leads to more accidents because there are more people on the road.
So what are the best ways to stay safe during your drive? Keep the road safety tips listed below in mind, so you get your family through the road trip in one piece.
1. Have Your Vehicle Inspected
Your car might work fine on short trips. But when is the last time you tested it’s performance for hours at a time? If there is an issue with your car, extended use could cause that issue to present itself and create a dangerous situation on the road.
Some of the most important components to check before embarking on your vacation are your tires, brakes, and all engine fluids. The summer heat adds more stress to your engine making it work harder to run. A quick trip to the mechanic could decrease the chance of any of these problems happening and an accident occurring.
2. Limit Distractions
When you’re traveling for summer activities, getting your whole family together in one vehicle can mean added noise, movement, and distractions you may not be used to dealing with on your daily commute. Remember to bring vehicle-appropriate activities, snacks, and beverages with you to keep kids occupied. If your children will have access to tablets, mobile phones, or any other kind of electronic devices, make sure they also have headphones to reduce noise.
3. Remember to Schedule Breaks
Generally speaking, kids have a lot of energy and short attention spans. Sitting in a car for hours on end is not the most engaging activity for young, curious minds. Remember to work in breaks every few hours so the whole family can get out of the car, stretch, get some fresh air, and renew their focus. Most popular road trip routes have stops along the way with roadside attractions, look out points, and parks where the kids can burn off some energy. While adding in stops will increase your total drive time, it will make for a better experience for everyone involved.
4. Be Prepared for More Than Cars
During the summer months, tourism peaks. It’s prime time for motorcycles and RVs, plus roads are more congested. As you travel through rural areas, you can also encounter tractors or other service vehicles. Make sure you drive around them safely to avoid problems.
Outside of vehicles, be mindful of local wildlife. Animals that are migrating or in mating season will be more active, especially around rural areas. Not only would you not want to injure an animal, it wouldn’t be the best vacation memory for your family. On top of that, larger animals like deer can cause severe damage to vehicles and injuries to the passengers.
5. Have a Back Up Plan
Even the most thought out plans can go off the rails if the unexpected happens. You can’t plan for everything, but you can plan a back up. Be sure to make note of budget-friendly hotels and rental car providers along your route in each city. In many cases, these businesses can arrange to pick you up- which can be of great use to your family if you’re involved in an accident while away from home.
It’s also a good idea to carry a printed copy of your itinerary, emergency contacts, and your back up plan in case your electronic devices run out of power. Being prepared for the worst means you can enjoy your vacation even if you experience a minor set back.
Never Forget These Road Safety Tips When Driving
You can never be too careful. One wrong move can be the difference between a safe trip and an accident on the road. Accidents do happen though, and having somebody by in your corner is essential. Contact us today if you need help.