When some people hear summer, others hear road trip season. An adventure on the open road with a group of your closest friends can make for the ultimate summer adventure as you explore national parks, beaches or big cities (while maintaining social distancing of course). These experiences require some planning, however, like taking your vehicle to the mechanic, checking your car emergency kit list and packing the wearable panic button.
Check out these 11 road trip safety tips to keep in mind while planning your next expedition.
1. Always Wear Your Seatbelt
Comfort is a top priority while on a road trip, but so is safety. One of the more obvious, but important safe driving tips is to check that the driver and all passengers are always wearing their seatbelts. Even if you’re trying to take a nap during the long drive, you should always wear your seatbelt correctly. The discomfort of the seatbelt against your neck while you lean against the window is worth more than risking a dangerous position if you get into a car accident. Make sure you pack road trip essentials like neck pillows and blankets for added comfort.
2. Carry the Silent Beacon Car Panic Button with You
Make sure to carry your Silent Beacon device with you at all times. The Silent Beacon is the perfect car panic button that calls any number including 911 while sending multiple people your live GPS location. The device uses your smartphone’s GPS to send your location in real-time via text, email, and push notifications to people who can help you in an emergency. This feature adds a whole extra layer of safety, enabling contacts to find you if you’re incapacitated or unable to talk. You can attach the Silent Beacon to your keys, and in case you ever lose them, the Bluetooth® tracking system utilizes audio and visual confirmation, helping you quickly track and locate your Silent Beacon or whatever it is attached to.
Travel requires frequent breaks, which you might take at late hours of the night in unknown towns. Bring your car panic button, the Silent Beacon, with you to get help in an emergency or ensure your safety if you see something suspicious. Therefore, Silent Beacon can serve as a road safety app in case of a car accident or other vehicle-related emergency.
3. Check Your Vehicle Before Leaving
In continuing to follow road trip safety tips, a week or so before you leave, take your car to a mechanic to check the engine, brakes, tires and any other possible malfunctions. It’s better to check ahead of time than to break down in a not-so-familiar town. In addition to checking your vehicle, you should also check that each passenger has the Silent Beacon road safety app downloaded and set up with emergency numbers and contacts. In case your car breaks down or runs out of gas, all passengers will be able to call for help in an instant.
4. Double Check Your Car Emergency Kit List
When preparing for your next adventure, it is important to have an emergency kit in the car with you. Before you leave, double-check your car emergency kit list to make sure you have all the essentials you might need. Need help knowing what should be in your emergency kit? We’ve got you covered. Here are our top items to have on your car emergency kit list:
First Aid Kit
Water Bottles & Non-perishable Snacks
Flashlights & Flares
Blankets & Extra Layers
5. Bring a Spare Tire (and Know How to Change It, Too)
Knowing how to change a tire plays a big part in road trip safety. The last thing you want is to be stranded on the side of the road either without a spare tire or not knowing how to change one. If you don’t already have a spare tire for your vehicle, you can purchase one at a tire retailer or auto club, along with the appropriate tools like a lug wrench and carjack. To learn how to change a spare tire, YouTube is going to be your best friend. Watch a step-by-step video before you leave on your adventure to familiarize yourself with the process, and you can refer back to the video in case of an emergency.
In the case of a flat tire, all passengers should exit the vehicle and move as far off the side of the road as possible to avoid accidentally being struck by oncoming traffic. Passengers should have their Silent Beacon car panic button in hand and ready to call for help in the event of an emergency situation.
6. Take Frequent Breaks
Road trip jitters propel the first few hours of the drive, but not long after leaving you might start getting tired or bored. While breaks can extend the duration of the drive, they will better equip you for the long driving hours ahead. Therefore, you should try to take a break every 100 miles, or every 2 hours. When you stop at a rest area, gas station, or a restaurant parking lot to go to the bathroom, stretch your legs and switch drivers make sure you have your Silent Beacon car panic button in hand. If only one member has a Silent Beacon device, make sure all other passengers have the Silent Beacon road safety app pulled up in case you need to get help quickly. These small breaks can make or break the trip—the additional 10 minutes are worth it.
7. Make a Schedule
Everybody loves a little adventure on a road trip, like stopping at a scenic overlook to catch a sunset or sunrise. Although this may be the case, make sure you’re still adhering to road trip safety tips and don’t apply your spontaneity to the overall schedule of your adventure. Always plan your drive beforehand, marking the cities where you will stop for breaks or overnight rests, which you can make a few adjustments to as you go along.
An ideal schedule for a road trip begins early in the morning to avoid commuters, driving through the day and stopping when it’s dark outside. Nighttime driving increases the risk of drunk and drowsy drivers, which are one of the biggest safety threats on a road trip. It may behoove you to look at your travel app before you leave to check for any traffic so that you know what to expect, timing-wise and have your road safety app set up and your car panic button easily accessible for any unforeseen emergencies.
8. Bring Healthy Snacks
It’s tempting to stop at your favorite fast-food restaurant for a meal and a bathroom break on a road trip, but healthy snacks are essentials that give you more energy for the hours ahead. Don’t be tempted to consider the items on your car emergency kit list the snacks you’ll use on your adventure. Instead, pack trail mix, dried fruit, protein bars and popcorn. For bigger meals, stop at a local grocery store instead of the main fast-food restaurants listed on the exit signs and other road safety devices. Most grocery stores have pre-made lunches that are healthier than junk food and will give you more energy.
9. Listen to Audiobooks or Podcasts
Safe driving tips explain the importance of staying alert while on a long drive. Road safety apps such as audiobooks and podcasts are a great way to stay entertained on a trip while also keeping you alert. Fun, upbeat playlists can also serve as a safe distraction from road trip hassles (I’m looking at you, leg cramps), but even music can get old after a while. Comedic audiobooks or true crime podcasts provide fresh topics that you can pay attention to while you drive. Remember to download them beforehand in case you don’t have a strong cell phone signal and to avoid fumbling with your phone while you’re driving.
10. Stay Hydrated
Road trip safety goes beyond looking out for suspicious activity; it includes taking all the necessary steps to keep yourself healthy. For example, don’t skip out on drinking water just because you want to minimize bathroom stops. Drinking plenty of water and taking more frequent breaks is better than becoming dehydrated with no energy to finish your drive. Refill your water bottles at rest stops so you don’t run out.
11. Bring Backup Directions
Most likely, you will use your phone or another GPS device for the entirety of your road trip to guide you to your destination. However, there is always that one place on a trip where you can’t seem to get a signal and lose the reception on your cell phone. To avoid losing your directions, write down or print step-by-step instructions to getting to your destination.
Don’t let common mistakes get in the way of having a fun summer adventure. Keep these road trip safety tips and planning hacks in mind as you plan the perfect adventure.