Road Trip Safety Tips
November begins one of the busiest travel seasons of the year and if you’re one of the thousands who plans to hit the road to family and friends, travel safety is likely among your top concerns.
Have your car examined and the tires thoroughly inspected
In the hustle and bustle of holiday preparations, the vehicle in which we will travel is often overlooked. For your safety and for your peace of mind, schedule time with a trusted auto service provider and have them check your fluid levels, belts, filters, tire condition and everything else possible. A trained eye can be the difference between a great trip and one spent at a roadside mini mart starting at a giant plastic cow while you wait for the wrecker.
Pack a safety kit
Even the best auto inspections can’t predict everything and although we try not to practice Murphy’s Law, it can surprise us from time to time. Be prepared for a breakdown with extra food and water. If you’re driving into wintery weather, pack an ice scraper; tow rope and jumper cables; sand or cat litter to aid with traction; blankets; flashlights, matches and emergency candles; first aid kit; portable radio; and a good book, in case you do get stuck.
Know the route, prepare for changes
Traffic, construction and accidents can wreak havoc during busy travel times. While GPS is great technology, it can be helpful to know the major roads on your route and any alternate roads that you could travel if necessary. Plus, checking your GPS during travel is distracted driving and is not safe. Empower yourself with the route knowledge before you set out to make it easier and safer if you need to reroute your trip.
Schedule plenty of drive time
For many people, ‘Over the river and through the woods” is as close as our own Hillsborough River. Bu,t for many more it could mean the Mississippi or even the Hudson River. And have you seen the traffic on I-75 during holidays? Whether you are planning a trip nearby or one that will take you 900 miles away, be sure to factor in plenty of time for rest stops, traffic slow-downs or even a scenic overlook. The less rushed you feel, the lower your stress and heart-rate levels will be.
Stretch your legs often
Take time to stop and stretch your legs. Not only is it good for your circulation and body as a whole, but just a few minutes off the road will make all the difference in improving your alertness when you’re back behind the wheel. Remember to choose well-lit areas and keep valuable belongings safely locked up and out of view. Also, pay attention to your surroundings.
Holiday road travel certainly has its share of annoyances and hazards. When you make the time to prepare for road closings, weather delays, traffic accidents and other obstacles your trip will be safer and happier. Safe travels!