4 Essential Safety Tips When Embarking On Your First Road Trip

Your First Road Trip

It doesn’t matter if it’s your first trip or if you’re a seasoned traveler, safety needs to be your main priority. People who have done a lot of traveling are probably thinking, “I know all of this already. Why bother rereading it?” Because you’ve probably become so accustomed to doing things a certain way you’ve forgotten the basics. 

One of the main reasons people travel is to relax and get away from life’s everyday stressors. But sometimes, things can happen even when you’re on vacation. You have no way to know when or if unexpected emergencies will arise. This is why it’s always best to be prepared. There’s a saying that goes, “always expect the best but prepare for the worst.” 

1.Pack An Emergency Road Kit

You’ll never know how vital an emergency kit is until you need one and don’t have it. Before setting out on a road trip, take the time to put together one of these and keep it in your trunk just in case. Even if you’re not going on a trip, you should have one in your car for emergencies. A few things you want to have in your emergency kit are:

  • A small flashlight
  • Bandaids
  • Water bottles
  • Old towel 
  • Jumper cables
  • Multipurpose tool
  • Phone charger
  • Roadside blanket
  • Flares

You may need other items depending on where you are traveling. Breaking down in the desert is a lot different than breaking down in the snow. So take the area you are going to in consideration when putting together your kit. 

2. Focus On Driving

Maybe you’ve been driving for years, and think you can do almost anything while you’re driving and still stay focused on the road. A lot of people who believe that end up in accidents… don’t be one of them. 

Before starting your road trip, make sure you have everything, including your directions, organized. Have your music ready to play so you won’t have to fumble around with your radio or phone while driving. 

Long drives can become boring after hours on the road, especially when you’re on a long, straight, endless highway. You may notice your mind start to wander, and you start daydreaming… This is dangerous. If you begin to do this, you need to take a break and get out of the car for a few minutes. You want to be 100% focused on the road at all times, not just for your safety but for the safety of others too. 

3. Make Sure Your Car Is Ready

If you haven’t had your car inspected in a while, this is the perfect time to do it. It’s much better to do it before you start your trip than end up broke down on the side of the road having to call a tow truck. Routine maintenance isn’t very expensive and is relatively simple to do—some of the things you can even do yourself.

  • Check your tire pressure – If they’re low, air them up. If they are old, worn, cracked, or damaged, have them replaced.
  • Check your windshield wiper blades – Replace them if needed
  • Pay attention to your breaks – If anything feels off, take it to your mechanic for a proper inspection.  
  • Check your vehicle’s oil and have it changed if it’s time
  • If you have any lights on, such as the check engine light, take it in to have it looked at before leaving.

You don’t want to be on your trip and find out that the check engine light you were ignoring meant you needed to replace your transmission. That would not be a fun road trip. 

Maintenance isn’t the only way to make sure your car is ready. If you haven’t compared car insurance rates in, a while you want to do that now. Occasionally, insurance companies will change their coverage amounts or policies, and if you don’t read the letters or emails they send, you may be left unaware. Look at other insurance companies at least once a year. 

4. Don’t Drive When You’re Tired

It can be tempting to tell yourself that you’ll pull over at the next rest area to take a nap. Then you find your gaze blurring again and your eyes starting to close. This is so dangerous. You would not be prepared if an animal was to run out in front of you or if the car in front of you suddenly hit their breaks. Some people don’t realize that driving while tired can be as dangerous as drunk driving.

A lot of people believe that they can drink some coffee and feel fine. You may feel fine for a short amount of time, but before long, you’ll feel exhaustion creeping back in. If you aren’t able to pull off, immediately let someone else drive if possible. If that’s not possible, roll down the window or sing until you can get somewhere safe to sleep. 

Road trips are all about fun and escaping the monotony of everyday life. And they are fun as long as you take the time to plan properly before heading out. There’s nothing worse than getting out on the open road just to end up stuck on the side of the road or in a repair shop.