Whether you go on road trips regularly or you’re about to go on one for the very first time, there is one very important detail you shouldn’t overlook – safety. From how you can stay safe to how making your own rules can allow you to enjoy your trip, here are just a few things to keep in mind before planning the road trip of a lifetime.
The importance of proper preparation
When it comes to a long haul road trip, preparation is extremely important, though oftentimes overlooked. In fact, nearly half of Americans don’t check that proper emergency items are in the car before heading out onto the road, according to one Liberty Mutual Insurance New Beginnings Report. That said, one vital aspect of being prepared before any road trip is to have a comprehensive emergency kit ready to go. With items like first aid supplies, a back up phone charger, and car-specific supplies (such as jumper cables and other tools), you can be sure you’re prepared for situations like a flat tire.
While you can prepare by packing a generalized emergency kit, it’s also imperative that you’re prepared in case of a car accident as well. While nobody wants to think about the worst case scenario when on a road trip, having important information regarding insurance, your emergency contacts, and the number of a car accident injury attorney on hand can make such a situation less frustrating.This can be especially important in such a situation if you’re injured, as you’ll want to know your legal options (after contacting the police and getting medical attention, of course). Because car accidents can often lead to life-altering injuries — such as broken limbs, spinal injuries, and more, having this information on hand can allow you to get in touch with the right people as soon as possible.
How weather can play a role
In addition to being prepared in a generalized sense, it’s important to take into account the fact that the weather can also play a role in being prepared as well. For instance, because the United States features a vast array of weather climates, a variety of situations are possible — including flash flooding, icy roads, and pop-up storms (depending on the area of the country you’re in and the time of year, of course). In fact, the US Department of Transportation (DOT) said that more than 5.8 million vehicle crashes occur each year based on statistics from 2007—2016, with 21% of those involving hazardous weather. While monitoring the weather before and during your trip is always ideal, however, it’s just as vital to have a plan in place in case the weather creates a situation in which you’re unable to continue on your route — especially if you’re inexperienced with driving in inclement weather. That said, having emergency weather supplies on hand, such as extra food, blankets, water, and tools like an ice scraper can be helpful in a variety of weather-related situations..
Making your own rules
Due to the stress that planning a road trip can cause, there are boundaries you can put into place to ensure you’re enjoying the journey as much as possible. For instance, making a rule beforehand as to how long a driver is allowed to drive can help cut down on frustration, especially if your trip will be particularly long. Additionally, making a rule regarding electronic use is another valuable consideration, which can help create a dynamic that will allow everyone in the vehicle to stay present in the moment. One great idea to keep everyone in the vehicle entertained and engaged is by planning out interactive games to play along the way, such as I Spy or the License Plate Game.
Planning the perfect road trip across the United States can be a daunting and stressful event, especially when there are so many factors to plan ahead for. From safety preparations to boundaries you can set beforehand, taking the time to plan out your trip will allow for both a safe and enjoyable journey.