Top Car Safety Tips for Your Next Road Trip
Here in the Pacific Northwest, as the skies start to clear and we await the sunnier days ahead, many are looking forward to traveling. Are you planning a road trip this spring or summer? Exciting! However, be sure you’re planning your trip with safety in mind. Before your next adventure on the open road, review these key road trip safety tips.
Before you leave, be sure to:
- Schedule a tune-up with the mechanic. You’ll want to make sure your car is in tip-top condition for traveling long distances. If you’re car-savvy, you can do these pre-trip inspections yourself; otherwise, schedule a tune-up or pre-trip inspection with your trusted mechanic.
- Prepare an emergency kit. You’ll want to pack an emergency kit, which will include a first aid kit along with other essentials, such as a flashlight and extra batteries, drinking water, and jumper cables—to name a few items. Be sure to review this comprehensive checklist of what to include in your kit.
- Check tires and fluids. Check your tire pressure and refill if your tires are running low (this can usually be done at your local gas station). Also, check your windshield wiper fluid and oil, refilling if they’re low or need to be changed.
- Bring a map. We’re so reliant on our cell phones for GPS these days. However, in the case that you’re out of range or your cellphone battery dies, you’ll want to make sure you can still get where you’re going without the use of technology.
- Pack your car wisely. You’ll want to store heavy items in the trunk or deep into the seat wells; this way, should you stop suddenly, these heavier items won’t become dangerous projectiles.
- Store important documents in your glove compartment. Be sure you have all of the necessary documents with you, including emergency contacts, roadside assistance numbers, proof of car insurance, and medical information.
During the Road Trip
While you’re on the road, be sure to:
- Remove all distractions. Cell phone use, such as texting while driving, significantly increases your risk of getting into an accident. In fact, some states, such as Washington, have even outlawed it entirely (see our blog about this new distracting driving law).
- Take regular breaks. Stretch your legs, get some fresh air, use the restroom, and grab a snack. Taking regular breaks helps keep us alert and refreshed.
- Don’t drive sleepy. Driving while drowsy significantly increases your chances of getting into an accident. Be sure to get a good night’s sleep before your trip. If you’re getting sleepy, pull over.
- Share driving responsibilities. If possible, take turns driving.
Do You Have Enough Car Insurance?
Before you hit the road, be sure to review your auto insurance policy with your agent. Additionally, inquire about any roadside assistance programs accessible with your insurer. In the unfortunate incident that you do get into an accident, be sure you understand the process for how to promptly file an insurance claim.
Enjoy your open road adventure, and let us know how Grange Insurance Association can help.