Safe Driving Tips for a US Road Trip

Last updated on : Jun 14, 2020

(Last Updated On: June 14, 2020)

Road trips can be a fun experience whether you’re traveling alone or with someone else. However, it’s important to make sure you take precautions to make sure you stay safe while you travel. Here are some safe driving tips you should keep in mind when you’re traveling by car in the US.

Drive During the Day

Depending on how far you have to drive, it’s a good idea to spend as much time on the road during the daytime as you can. This might not be possible all the time if you’re driving across multiple time zones, but you should do your best to plan your trip accordingly.

You could put yourself at risk if you drive at night when it’s dark, especially if you’re tired. Driving while tired can make you see things or cars that really aren’t there, lawyers call this the phantom car defense. Don’t feel like you have to stick to a set schedule.

If you feel like you’re getting drowsy, pull over for the night. Getting to your destination faster is not worth risking your life.

Avoid Driving Alone if You Can

It’s always more enjoyable if you can travel with friends or family. Having someone to share the experience with makes everything better. It also makes driving much safer.

Rotate among everyone so that each person is only driving for a couple of hours at a time. In between driving, it’s a good idea to get some rest so you’re ready for your next shift of driving.

Even if you have to do most of the driving, it helps to have someone who can talk to you and keep you alert.

Familiarize yourself with the route ahead of time

It’s always good to have a plan when you’re going to be traveling away from home. You can plan a route that you will predominantly take. You should also know the roads somewhat well without looking at a map.

It’s a good idea to have some backup ideas if you find that roads are busy or closed due to construction. Many vehicles come with excellent navigation systems that will keep you driving on course.

A lot of people also have navigation apps on their phones, which can be helpful. However, having some paper maps in addition to this is a good way to have all your bases covered.

Driving - Safe Driving Tips

Ensure proper vehicle maintenance

Before you leave on your trip, make an appointment for your vehicle to receive routine service at your trusted dealership. It’s a good idea to have an oil change performed if one is due soon.

You should also have a multi-point inspection performed so ensure everything is in good shape. Your tires can be inspected to see if there is a safe amount of tread left on each one. This will help you stay safe while on the road.

Get enough sleep

Make sure that you get enough sleep before you head out on the road. If you stay out late the night before, you’ll end up driving with less attention and alertness than you should have.

If your trip is going to span across a number of days, plan on stopping at hotels for a good night of rest. This will allow you to wake up rested the next day.

You can also snooze in the car if you have someone that will be sharing the driving with you.

Have a good roadside emergency kit

A roadside emergency kit is one of the best safe driving tips you can use, as it will allow you to be prepared for whatever comes your way.

Some of the items that you should have in your car include things like extra windshield wiper fluid, basic tools, road flares, non-perishable food items, bottles of water, a blanket or two, a flashlight and contact information in case you need to call for help if something causes you to end up on the side of the road.

You never know if you will find yourself in a situation where you need help, so it’s always good to have these things with you just in case.

Planning ahead for a vacation destination will help you have the best time possible. There are a number of things that can go wrong, but with the right planning, you can make sure you are safe.

Don’t text and drive

There is really nothing more to say here. Distracted driving is a leading cause of accidents and fatalities, so avoid texting, and use hands-free settings to talk to people on the phone.

Here’s another article you might enjoy: 4 Great Stops for a West Coast Road Trip

Have you used any of these safe driving tips? What else would you add?

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Angela Jones
Angela Jones is a nature enthusiast, who be found in a coffee shop or two around the world. She loves pastries and a good French baguette.

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