Road trips are a blast, but they’re not all fun and games. It’s important to keep highway safety top of mind—even if you’re stuck on the dashboard.
To prepare for a road trip, the American Red Cross recommends:
- Carry a disaster supplies kit in your trunk, including high-protein snacks, water, a first aid kit, flashlight, small battery-operated radio, an emergency contact card with names and phone numbers, extra prescription medications and important documents or information you may need.
- Let someone know your destination, your route, and when you expect to arrive. If your car gets stuck along the way, help can be sent along your predetermined route.
- Find out what disasters may occur in the place where you are traveling (especially if they are of a variety you have never experienced before) and how you would get information in the event of a disaster (local radio systems, emergency alert systems).
- Pay attention to the weather forecast for your destination. Travel and weather websites can help you avoid storms and other regional challenges that could impact your safety.
Once you’re on the road, the organization advises:
- Buckle up, slow down, and don’t drive impaired.
- Be well-rested and alert.
- Don’t let your vehicle’s gas tank get too low.
- Use caution in work zones.
- Give your full attention to the road. Avoid distractions such as cell phones.
- Observe speed limits – driving too fast or too slow can increase your chance of being in a collision.
- Make frequent stops. During long trips, rotate drivers. If you’re too tired to drive, stop and get some rest.
- Be respectful of other motorists and follow the rules of the road.
- Don’t follow another vehicle too closely.
- Clean your headlights, taillights, signal lights and windows to help you see, especially at night.
- Turn your headlights on as dusk approaches, or if you are using your windshield wipers due to inclement weather.
- If you have car trouble, pull off the road as far as possible.
With a little attention to detail, we can all stay safe and keep road trips the fun and enjoyable activity they should be.