Driving in the fast lane, listening to your favorite podcast, and enjoying the best time with your family and friends; road trips are always fun and a perfect opportunity to make memories that will last forever. Highways in the US are best known for their robust infrastructure and scenic vistas that make your journey by road even more pleasurable.
No matter how fun and exciting it may sound, you should always keep in mind all necessary safety precautions and work out your travel plans accordingly. Always remember that safety comes first. In this article, we have shared some of the most useful tips on how to have a safe road trip that you should take note of.
So, without further ado, let’s begin!
Get Your Vehicle Ready
Make sure that the vehicle you’re taking on a road trip is in good shape. Inspect every part of your car properly. Check all the fluids that help your car run smoothly including engine and brake oils. Also, check all your dashboard gauges and lights, make sure they are working fine. Your gas tank should be full, so check on that as well.
And, yes, don’t forget about the tires. Make sure they are properly inflated. A flat tire could easily ruin the entire fun of your journey and could be very dangerous, especially if you are driving in a high-speed lane on an interstate highway. So, always have a spare tire with you no matter what.
Take Enough Rest Before Getting on the Road
While driving fast on a high-speed lane, you have to be extra attentive and careful. This makes it important for you to take enough rest and sleep and then get behind the steering wheels. You should sleep for a minimum of 7 to 8 hours on the night before hitting the road.
Don’t drive at all, if you are feeling tired or sleepy. This way you may put your and others’ safety at risk. Keeping yourself fresh and fully energized is one of the best safety tips for a road trip.
Pro Tip: Be properly aware of your surroundings and speed limits to minimize any risks. Also, don’t forget to keep in mind these 12 most important tips to be a safe driver.
Take Regular Breaks
As a general rule of thumb, you should drive for a maximum of 8 hours a day and take a break of at least 10 to 15 minutes after every two hours of driving. You’ll find plenty of rest areas on the routes of almost all the major highways in the US.
Don’t overburden yourself to cut down your journey time. It would be even better if you have someone traveling with you who knows how to drive. This way they can take over the steering wheel when you need to take a break.
Have Complete Information About Your Destination
Have you done thorough research on the destination you’re planning to visit by road? Well, it will help you learn about the weather conditions of that place and all the popular landmarks that you should visit on your trip. Make sure you’re also aware of the best routes to get to your desired location. It could save you from all the hassle of wasting your time, fuel, and energy.
Things become a lot easier if you are headed to a tourist destination as you may conveniently find travel articles and blogs detailing them on the internet. Becoming familiar with your chosen travel destination makes your trip more comfortable and you won’t feel lost in a new place.
The more knowledge you gather, the better it is. It will also help you pack all the essential items that you would need during your stay, even to deal with emergencies. This is why knowing about the place you’re visiting beforehand is among the most important tips on how to have a safe road trip.
Follow the Road Signs to Drive Safely
While keeping a constant eye on other vehicles on the road, it is also very important for you to be aware of the road signs. While driving, your safety greatly relies on them as they guide you about speed limits, dangerous curves and turns, crossroads, traffic lights, and conditions of the road in a particular area, especially if construction work is underway.
The road signs are also installed to guide you about alternative routes if the road ahead is closed for some reason. This is why keeping an eye out for the road and navigational signs all the time is among highly essential tips on how to have a safe road trip.
Always Carry a Physical Map
We know it may sound a bit old school but we think that carrying a physical map is one of the most essential road trip safety tips. We know that every other person these days has a GPS in their phone. The mapping technology of today’s world, like Google or Apple maps, keeps you updated with your real-time location every second.
What if your phone’s battery runs out of juice in the middle of the road or the internet connection gets poor. Well, this could happen with anyone and it is better to be prepared. So, instead of taking any risks, always keep a physical map with you as a backup. You can easily buy it from your nearest stationery store or download it from the internet and get a printout of it.
DON’T FORGET TO READ: COVID-19 Road Trip Checklist
Plan All Your Rest Stops Beforehand
It is better to have an estimate of the total duration of your journey before you start your road trip. This way you would know for how long you’ll be driving and taking a rest to make it to your desired destination.
Using digital maps, you can also identify the best and most scenic rest stops along the way to your destination. This way you could also not miss seeing natural, historical, and informative spots on your journey by road. Having all the stopovers in your journey planned beforehand is one of the best tips to have a comfortable and safe road trip because this would allow you to give yourself some time off the road to avoid the feeling of tiredness.
This brings us to the end of our article on some of the best tips on how to have a safe road trip. On a side note, if you’re looking for some traveling suggestions, then you may like to check out our detailed round-up of the 9 most famous road trip routes in the US.