Before Hitting The Road
1. Stop By Your Mechanic For A Tune Up
Make sure to have your tire pressure, battery, belts, fluids, and air conditioner checked and have any necessary repairs done. Many accidents are caused simply by vehicle malfunction.
2. Talk To Your Insurance Agent
Every state has different insurance laws. The coverages that protect you in Florida, may not protect you in another state. Make sure that you have adequate coverage for wherever you are visiting.
3. Plan Your Route
It can be fun to go off the beaten path to get to your destination, but just make sure that the route you take avoids any roads with hazards like construction or recent weather damage. It’s also a good idea to avoid areas with high traffic volumes like cities during rush hour. A lot of modern GPS systems and apps are updated with this information in real time, so you may not have to worry. Just make sure you follow their instructions and only make changes to your route while you are parked.
4. Pack An Emergency Kit
It’s a great idea to have roadside assistance to help if you have an accident, but it’s also a good idea to pack an emergency kit because sometimes it can take awhile for help to come, especially if you are in a rural area. Your emergency kit should include:
- A first aid kit
- A fully charged cell phone
- Jumper cables
5. Tie Down Any Luggage
Luggage can shift when driving especially during a quick stop. Shifting luggage can provide a distraction or get in the way of you responding correctly to an accident. So make sure everything inside and outside of your vehicle is safely secured.
6. Get A Good Night’s Sleep
Exhausted driving is more dangerous than distracted and drunk driving. Make sure before driving any distance you get a good night’s rest the night before. This is especially important when driving long distances because you will be more susceptible to the dangers of road hypnosis.
On The Road
1. Take Breaks
We all are really busy and often times want to rush to our destination so we can get the most out of our few vacation days. However, make sure that you take a break every two-three hours so you stay alert during your drive. You don’t have to linger long, just a quick pit stop, a little walk, or a bathroom break should be enough to keep you going safely.
2. Pull Over During Bad Weather
Bad weather can be a big problem on road trips. Instead of driving through to your destination on unfamiliar roads, find a safe place to pull over and wait for the storm to pass.
3. Keep Your Eyes On The Road
On long stretches of highway and the interstate, there are different dangers than what you face in your normal commute. There are more large commercial vehicles like tractor-trailers, wild animals crossing, and natural hazards like falling rocks. Always keep your eyes on the road so that if you are met with one of these dangers, you can respond quickly and defensively.
4. Look Away From The Lights
At night, headlights from oncoming traffic can cause temporary blindness and reduce your ability to drive defensively. Instead when a car is passing, look to the lower right shoulder to keep your vision intact. You’ll still be able to see the road, but you won’t suffer from the bright lights.
5. Stay Off The Phone
Don’t talk on the phone, text, play the internet, watch tv, or even reset your GPS while you are driving. Distracted driving is the number one cause of accidents in the United States, so staff off your phone at all times.
If you follow these tips, you will reduce your chance of an accident on your summer road trip. However, if you do find yourself in an accident this summer, don’t worry, Michael Babboni has you covered anytime, just call for a consultation!.