Even though my favorite type of travel is by airplane, there is a LOT to be said for going on a road trip. For one, they are an easy way to make travel affordable.
Plus, they just give a whole new meaning to “Focus on the journey, not the destination,” don’t you agree?
They do, however, require some road trip safety precautions.
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I am so excited to be going on a road trip from Lake Arrowhead to San Francisco next week for the RSA Cybersecurity Conference. But a lot goes into planning a road trip, so without further ado, here are my top road trip safety tips.
Table of Contents
Road Trip Safety Tip 1: Complete an oil change and overall tune-up if you’re close to being due
For smooth sailing, make sure your car is in good working order. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends that you have your tires, battery, belts, fluids, and air conditioner checked by a qualified mechanic.
If you’re driving in a hot climate or towing a boat or trailer, you may need a motor oil with a higher viscosity.
An oil change will keep:
- your car running smoothly
- gas efficiency high
- your car from overheating
So definitely be sure to check your miles traveled and decide whether you’re due for an oil change.
You don’t want to go overheating your engine by slacking on oil changes before a long road trip.
Road Trip Safety Tip 2: Do a spot check on the car fluids
Always check to see if your fluids are at the right levels. Overheating can cause permanent damage to your car’s engine. Also, topping off your windshield wiper fluids will keep your visibility – and safety – high.
Road Trip Safety Tip 3: Double check your tires (for baldness and air pressure).
Make sure your tires are good for the long haul. There’s nothing worse than getting a flat tire on the freeway. Or worse yet, a flat tire on some unknown road hundreds of miles from civilization.
Road Trip Safety Tip 4: Carry an emergency kit
Stock your car with emergency supplies to ensure that you’re ready for whatever comes your way. Your emergency kit should include:
- Warm blankets
- A flashlight
- Jumper cables
- Tools to change a tire (plus a spare in working order)
- A fully charged cell phone
- Extra wiper fluid
- A first-aid kit
Road Trip Safety Tip 5: Pack Snacks
Packing water and snacks high in protein and low in sugar will keep you alert and prevent sugar crashes while you’re driving. My favorite healthy road trip snacks are:
- 2 liters of water
- beef jerky
But don’t get me wrong, I’ll also bring along some lemon Gatorade, popcorn, and Cheetos for fun 😉
Road Trip Safety Tip 6: Take a break every few hours
Not only is it good for your health and posture, but it will keep you alert and safe on the road.
Newer cars even warn you to take a break after a few hours of having your engine on and suggest pit stops on your built-in navigation.
My Subaru alerts me when my engine has been on for two hours and then again at three hours if I didn’t take my break.
Road Trip Safety Tip 7: Get a good night’s sleep.
According to the NHTSA, driving while drowsy is a contributing factor in 100,000 car accidents annually. Drive only when well rested, and if you have a travel partner, switch off with another adult every few hours.
If you’re going on a road trip, be sure to plan ahead and pack some road trip essentials for a smooth trip!
And don’t forget to download your road trip checklist so you don’t run into any trouble on the road 🙂
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With all my love,