Yes! Winter is finally over! The flowers are blooming, and the weather is perfect for a road trip.
Whether you're leaving New York for Texas to see your boyfriend or visiting relatives with the entire family, it's vital to know how to be safe when on a trip.
We've compiled some driver safety tips you should review before heading out.
1. Get your car road-ready.
You don't want your vehicle to break down while on a road trip. Make sure it's in excellent condition by making sure the brakes, lights, wiper blades, and signals all work correctly.
Also, check the tires, oil, belts, coolants, washer fluids, transmission fluid, battery, fuel gauge, engine oil, and other systems are in good condition. If you don't know what to do, you can have a professional technician do the checks for you.
2. Take the weather into consideration.
The US is a vast country with a climate that varies significantly by location - you can't compare the frigid winters of Alaska to the warm winters of Florida.
As such, it's crucial to consider the weather conditions of the places you intend to visit before embarking on the trip.
You don't want to drive straight into a blizzard and other horrible weather conditions. Visibility might be low and your car can get stuck - a real mess.
Okay, you didn't check the weather forecast, and now, you've been caught off-guard by a weather onslaught. What next? Emergency supplies.
3. Pack emergency supplies.
Before any trip, make sure to pack emergency supplies, such as
first aid kit
blankets and pillows
portable phone chargers
These everyday items can be lifesavers, but you might not realize how important they are now. But when you need them, you'll be thankful they are sitting in your trunk.
4. Get enough sleep and rest.
Before getting on the road, ensure you've had at least 7 - 8 hours of sleep to prevent drowsy driving. Otherwise, you're putting yourself, your family, and others at risk. A significant problem in the US, drowsy driving can lead to road accidents, causing severe injuries and death.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 91,000 police-reported crashes in 2017, which led to nearly 800 deaths. While driving, you should also take breaks every 2 - 4 hours to keep yourself alert.
5. Do not rush.
We understand; you can't wait to get to your destination. But better late than never. As such, avoid speeding and always keep under the speed limits, which are meant to lower the risks of accidents. The posted speed limits are designed for normal weather conditions. Hence, drive slowly in inclement weather.
6. Be alert and drive safe.
Staying alert while driving on the road is central to staying safe. Routinely check the road for hazards and keep an eye out for aggressive drivers. When changing lanes, always use your signals. And when driving at night, avoid two-way lanes as the night-time glare on such roads is high.
7. Keep your auto insurance up to date.
While we don't wish for it, anything can go wrong. No matter how careful you are, a drunk driver can hit your vehicle, causing significant damage.
As such, it's smart to have auto insurance in place when going on a road trip. Our local insurance agents can help you review your coverage to ensure you have all the protection you need while on the trip.