Taking a summer road trip is a great way to spend time with family or friends. But many things could go wrong. So here are some tips for staying safe on the long roads.
Get Licensed or Brush Up on Knowledge
Operating a vehicle is pretty much the same everywhere, save for left and right. But driving long distances is a task in itself, and you need to be as prepared as possible beyond simple common sense. It is essential you know the road safety laws for any country in which you drive. Not knowing road safety laws is a recipe for disaster. Therefore, it’s essential you are licensed (find out more here) to drive so you don’t get arrested at least. And if you are permitted, you can brush up on your skills by taking a refresher test in most countries like the UK and EU.
Turn Your Phone Off
Every year, there are almost 2 million car accidents per year due to texting or calling while driving in the United States alone. Distracted driving is illegal almost everywhere because the distraction it provides is just as dangerous as driving under the influence. It’s impossible to prevent others from using their phones while driving, but you can prevent yourself from causing accidents. Don’t risk someone’s life for a phone call. Turn off, put on silent, or place the phone in the glovebox until you arrive at your destination if you can’t help answering your phone.
Watch for Bad Drivers on a Summer Road Trip
The most common problem you will encounter on a summer road trip is terrible drivers on the road. Sometimes it is difficult to comprehend how some people obtained their licenses. However, it is helpful to be on the lookout for dangerous drivers. Unfortunately, some people pull out in front of you without using turn signals, causing you to crash into their car or fall from their bike. Fortunately, you can prevent most accidents by paying attention and keeping an eye out for idiots on the road. But no matter how careful and skilled your driving is, there are always terrible drivers to look out for.
Stick to the Speed Limits of EVERY Road
There is always a speed limit on a road in countries with applicable road laws. And it’s for an important reason. Based on braking distances, formulas have been developed for determining how fast you can drive on the road without causing a terrible accident. Moreover, the road’s surface, how close you are to the public, and the types of vehicles using a roadway are also considered. Based on accurate mathematics, you will likely avoid a tragic incident if you suddenly brake, provided you are driving at or below the legal speed limit.
Check Your Car Before Setting Off
Cars need to be maintained to avoid a disaster. A car is made up of many different parts. Still, some are vital for proper operation, maintenance, and car safety. These components can be checked without being an expert with “FLOWER” inspections:
Fuel: Check to see if you have enough gas or electric power for your trip.
Lights: Check your brakes, headlights, and blinkers.
Oil: Ensure your engine has enough oil.
Water: To keep your engine cool, you need water.
Electrics: Test your battery is working.
Rubber: Check the tread on your tires.
Don’t forget to check your car before you drive. Getting a jump on these small but essential things can avert serious issues. Additionally, you’ll be able to catch little problems before they become big ones and can therefore take care of them yourself or by hiring someone.
Take Spare Food, Water, and Blankets
Extra supplies are also beneficial if you always carry them with you. On a summer road trip, anything can happen at any time. A blanket and water can determine the difference between life and death. There are many important things to consider, including food, water, extra thermal blankets, waterproof clothing, and a heat source. Taking a fully charged cell phone is also recommended. Charge the device, install any apps you need, and turn it off. Then, place it in a safe place until you need it. That way, you have a backup if your main phone dies.
NEVER Drink and Drive (or do drugs)
Alcohol and drugs are responsible for hundreds of thousands of incidents every year, resulting in fatal or life-changing injuries. Sadly, many of these incidents result in drunk drivers getting off while innocent people suffer. Say you believe someone is driving drunk. Stop in a safe place and call the police immediately. If you speak up, you’ll save lives, so ignore any fears about being labeled a snitch. Furthermore, you should never drive if you are intoxicated. Again, you are risking your life, the lies of your passenger, and anyone else on the roads.
A Summer Road Trip Doesn’t Mean Great Weather
The effect of climate change is extreme and unpredictable weather. There is no telling when cities and towns will be hit by severe storms that will cause chaos on the roads. Watching the weather closely can help you avoid the worst weather. Yet, terrible weather can strike at any time when on a trip. However, you can get ahead just by checking apps and the news. And in the event of a sudden storm, drive carefully and be aware of crosswinds and downpours. Additionally, lightning is more common in Summer, so wind up the windows and stay inside.
Take Actions Not to Get Lost
A road trip is all kinds of fun, going from place to place. The downside is that if you don’t know where you’re going and how to get there, there are plenty of hazards besides getting lost. Therefore, planning your route meticulously will take more time, but it will be worth it. And it is possible to do this without being a map reader. Thanks to smartphone apps such as Google Maps and GPS devices, planning a trip is as easy as typing in a destination. You can also view weather forecasts and traffic reports in real-time and safe places to stop and rest.
Brush up on your driving knowledge to stay safe on a summer road trip. Additionally, you might want to get rid of distractions like your phone. And never drive while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs.