Planning a long road trip? Take note of this safety tops thus avoiding traffic, saving money, and landing safe (and staying awake!) on the road trip.
1. Before engaging in any kind of long drive, always get enough rest and sleep and eat food before you start. Highly caffeinated beverages are not recommended at this time as you may initially feel more alert, but the effects can fade with time, and your attention may wander although you still awake.
2. Pull over and take short breaks every couple of hours, even if you are not sleepy. Get a snack, get some fresh air, and stretch your legs by taking a walk around. If necessary, take a quick nap.
3. If you are with another licensed driver, share the driving responsibilities with him/her. This will make you to keep an eye on each other while driving and also allow you to nap without losing time. However if you’re driving alone, turn on the radio or put on some music, and keep your window open. Please refrain from using your cruise control if you’re driving alone; having to concentrate on maintaining your speed can keep you awake.
4. In case you need to pull over, move your car off the road. Never pull over on the shoulder or in the breakdown lane for any reason except its an emergency.
5. Be familiar with the laws along your route regarding cell phone use while driving. While it may be legal practice in one place, it may be illegal in another, and ignorance is not typically an acceptable excuse for a violation. However, note here that even if it’s legal to talk on a cell phone, it’s usually safest to use a hands-free device.
6. Never drink any alcoholic beverage before your trip. This is because even if you do not become intoxicated from one beer, you will eventually become sleepy.
7. Observe the skies, and if you can, plan a test ride around inclement weather. A minor detour could actually wind up saving you major time.
8. Check the Web for traffic update sites and listen to radio traffic alerts, especially when entering major cities. When there are no smartphones all-news stations on the AM dial could be a good lead
- Not even a GPS unit is so trustworthy, so we recommend using a detailed map or road atlas as a backup just in case. A mapping app on your smartphone is another must-have for long road trips.10.If you are using a rental vehicle, be sure to familiarize yourself with the car and all of its equipments (horn, brakes, and hazard lights).
11. Keep all of your valuables in the trunk or glove area and store all luggage in the trunk
12. Be sure to familiarize yourself with local traffic laws, which often vary from state to state and especially overseas. Example would it legal to make a right turn at a red light? What are the rules on waiting pedestrians?
13. Before setting off on a long car trip, be sure your vehicle is in an optimum condition; tires are properly inflated, all fluids are at their recommended levels and you have a full tank of gas. (For especially long road trips, you should equally have your mechanic do some thorough check.)
14. Consider signing up as a member of AAA or signing up for your car insurer’s roadside assistance program. This may come in handy when your car breaks down on a lonely back road.
15. Keep costs down by conserving gas as you drive. Minimize sudden stops and starts, free your car of all unnecessary weight, and drive slow — it takes much less fuel to drive 55 miles an hour than it does to drive 70.
16. Don’t wait until your gas gauge is drops on E to refuel. On an unfamiliar route, you never know when the next gas station will be. As soon as you get a quarter of a tank, start looking for a place to fill up.
17. When traveling with family and kids, be sure to stop often not only for snacks but also for fun. Check for a cool playground along the way, Pull over and throw a Frisbee around. You’ll also want to pack toys, books and music for the car and also first aid kit.
18. On longer trips, keep napkins, plasticware and a small cooler handy for meals on the go. You’ll also want some spare change for tolls, as well as a first-aid kit, flashlight, pillow and blanket. Keep a set of jumper cables, a spare tire or donut, and extra fluids for the car (such as windshield wiper fluid) in your trunk.
19. Lastly Make sure you and everyone in the car buckles his or her seatbelt. Not only will it keep you safe, but in many places it’s also the law.