We are well into our 3 Week “Bigger Than Texas Road Trip” and have spent lots of time in the car – over 1500 miles so far! Before we left home, I did a little research into car travel and safety tips while on the road. Being that the majority of the trip would be myself and my 3 children, I wanted to be prepared for any situation. Here is what I came up with.
10 Road Trip Safety Tips
1. Emergency Road Trip Kit – Before hitting the road, make sure you have everything you need in case of a roadside emergency, such as:
First Aid Kit
Jack to change a tire
Basic repair tools and duct tape
2. Scout your Route – know how far you are traveling and plan your stops accordingly – especially when it comes to gas. Last week, as we traveled up to the Grand Canyon, I assumed we would run into a gas station along the way. We drove 25 miles through the Chiho National Forest with my heart in my throat as my gas gauge inched lower and lower. Did I mention, I didn’t have a signal on my iPhone to see where the next gas station would be?? Luckily, we came to a town – but I was 13 miles from empty. Never again.
3. Avoid Being A Distracted Driver – Cell Phone – Hide it, put it in your purse. As the only adult driver, I didn’t want to get distracted with email notifications and text messages. I had too precious of cargo to look at my phone while driving. Nearly 85% of all car accidents occur due to distracted driving.
4. Get a Good Night’s Sleep – Plan to get a good night’s sleep each evening (at least 6-8 hours of sleep). The last thing you want to be is a sleepy driver!
5. Plan Your Pitstops – Make sure you break up the monotony of a long drive by pulling over and taking breaks when needed. This is good not only for the driver, but the crew as well. We downloaded Roadside America to find fun places to pull over and see like the “Infamous Corner” in Winslow, AZ.
6. Directional Backup – Bring a paper map. Yes, we live in the age of smart phones that can track our every move, but there were places I encountered last week where my iPhone had no signal (see the above gas incident) and my car GPS showed we were not even on a road. In these cases, I was thankful to have my paper atlas.
7. Safe & Smart Parking – When parking the car for the evening, look to park it under a light pole or near the entrance of your lodging. Lock all your items in the trunk or back compartment (out of site).
8. Be a Good Passenger – On a road trip, everyone needs a good back-up. Take turns driving, do the navigating, have great discussions with the driver, and control the music. Also, have discussions with your children about not distracting the driver – bickering is the WORST way to do that!
9. Seat Belts for Everyone – I know this should go without saying, but Buckle Up. Observe the Child Safety laws – if you are going through multiple states, its best to observe your states. Technically, my 4 year old can move up to the booster seat in Texas, but we felt it was safer to keep him in his 5-point harness seat for the trip.
10. Relax and Enjoy the Ride – It’s not everyday you get to drive through different parts of our beautiful country. If time permits, don’t rush it. If you zoom to your destination, you’ll miss the great views. Relax, enjoy the time you have with your family on the road and make some incredible memories.
State Farm Insurance wants you to have an incredible trip, but make it a safe one. That’s why they have sponsored this list of Road Trip Safety Tips. Their online Learning Center has a great deal of additional safety information. Have a fun and safe vacation.