Posted on: January 7, 2013
If you’re planning on traveling for the upcoming holiday season, make sure you and your family are aptly prepared to deal with traffic, road hazards, and potential car trouble before you hit the road. Whether it’s across the state of South Carolina, or across the country, here are ten road trip safety tips that will help you and your family stay safe on the highway.
- Prepare an Emergency Travel Kit– You should always have an emergency travel kit in your vehicle, whether you’re going across town or on a long road trip down I-26. Purchase a medium-sized container that can fit either under the seat or in the trunk of your car, and fill it with the following tools:
- Jumper Cables
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Tire Jack
- Duct Tape
- Ratcheting Straps and/or Bungee Cords
- Bottled Water
- A Basic Tool Set (Screwdriver, Wrench, Socket Set)
- First Aid Kit
- Plan your trip ahead of time– Before you start your journey, scout your route and determine how far you are traveling, where you should stop for gas and/or bathroom breaks, and the approximate time you will be on the road. Review the travel plan with your family and friends, and let others who are not traveling with you know where you will be, in case there is an emergency.
- Make sure you are well rested – The night before your road trip, make sure everyone get’s at least 6-8 hours of healthy sleep, especially anyone who may be driving. If you are driving early in the morning, make sure you get up at least 45 minutes before you leave to ensure you are fully awake and alert behind the wheel .
- Bring a paper map – Even if you have a GPS and a navigational application on your smartphone, it is still a good idea to also bring a paper map. On a road trip, you may travel through areas with no satellite signal, or your GPS may malfunction or lose power.
- Avoid distractions – If you are driving, turn your cell phone off and set your GPS before you leave to avoid being distracted while driving. Make sure all pets and children are properly restrained, and pull over at a rest stop if you need to make a call.
- Buckle up – Make sure everyone is properly buckled in before hitting the road. Children should be fastened in their appropriate child safety seats and adult passengers should always wear a seat belt while the vehicle is in motion.
- Pull over and take breaks when needed – If you are going to be on the road for several hours, make sure you plan to take pit stops and stretch your legs every few hours. This is also helpful if you are feeling tired; getting up and moving for a few minutes can help you regain the energy you need to stay alert while driving.
- Park in safe, well-lit areas– If you need to stop somewhere at night, make sure you park in a safe area, near a light pole or the entrance of a building. If possible, stop at areas that are regularly monitored by Highway Patrol. Make sure all valuable belongings are locked in the trunk or out of sight.
- Be a good passenger – If you are a passenger on a road trip, make sure you are doing your part to help out the driver by not causing distractions. If possible, take turns driving, help out with navigation, and control the music so the driver can focus on the road.
- Relax; don’t rush– If you planned your trip ahead of time, you shouldn’t feel rushed while traveling. Make sure you pay attention to all speed limits and drive carefully through construction areas and country roads. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the trip without feeling hurried. This will make it a safer trip for you and the other vehicles around you.
If you or a loved one is injured on a road trip , seek medical treatment immediately. Call emergency response teams right away and make sure you and your passengers are safe and out of the way of oncoming traffic. If you have questions about road trip accidents, contact the legal team at George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers to get the answers you need. We’re available 24/7 and can meet you in Charleston, Greenville, Columbia, Orangeburg, or anywhere in the state to help you.