Road Safety 101: How to Stay Safe When Traveling With Your Family
4 simple tips to remember when traveling with your family on a road trip
Guest blog by Bob Gorman
Traveling with your family offers a chance to bond with one another. With each mile driven, new memories are made. Parents of small children know the importance of spending quality time together. After all, kids are small once. In a matter of no time, they’re grown and off doing their own thing.
To prepare for travel with family takes time. In fact, there is a checklist of things to do prior to departure. If you want to avoid potential problems along the way, it’s best to take time before leaving with a packed vehicle to sort out the details.
Plan Your Driving Route
Prior to leaving for your destination, research the best routes to get there. Keep in mind that you’re traveling with family so it’s best to plan a few stops along the way. This gives you time to sight see, take pictures, and stretch your legs. If you’re traveling with children, plan to stop at a few locations you know they’d enjoy.
If you plan on using a GPS, make sure to carry a road atlas with you as well. Technology glitches and the last thing you want to do is be lost on an unfamiliar road in the dark. Photocopy the maps you plan to use if it’s easier than sorting through an entire atlas. This is one tip you’ll be glad you paid attention to.
Send your route and itinerary to a trusted friend or family member. Let them know where you plan to be and when. Having another person looking out for you while you’re on the road with your family is the responsible thing to do. If something were to happen to you, they’d be able to alert the proper authorities.
Make Sure Your Vehicle is in Excellent Working Order
Take your vehicle in for a check-up with a mechanic and check all safety features. Make sure all of your fluids are topped off and that your tires are in good condition. Clean your headlights, taillights, signal lights, and windows thoroughly. You want people to see you at night.
Have a disaster supply kit, spare tire, tire iron, and pair of battery jumpers in your trunk in the event of a breakdown or accident. Invest in an emergency cell phone and charger to keep in your glove box. Even if you’re out of a service area, you’re able to place a call to 9-1-1 when you need to
Take a Reasonable Amount of Breaks Along the Way
No matter how tight of schedule you face, it’s necessary to stop and rest along the way. This is especially true for drivers. The safety and well-being of your family is in your hands. Don’t risk their lives by driving when you’re too tired to make good decisions.
You’ll need to give your full attention to the road which means no looking at or answering cell phones until you’re stopped somewhere. If there is another adult with you, take turns driving but make sure they are well aware of the route you’re taking. Don’t fall asleep until you’re certain that they’re clear on where they’re going.
Pack Plenty of Food and Water with You
There have been many cases where stranded motorists survived on the food and beverages they had in their vehicles with them. One group of sisters lived off of water and cookies until help arrived. Pack enough drinks and snacks to cover each person traveling for two to three days. Try to include healthy foods like nuts, whole grain crackers, fruits, and veggies.
When your supplies get low, replenish them when you can. You never know how long of distance it is between stops while traveling. What may seem like a developed area of the country may not offer a lot in the way of restaurants and filling stations. The first big box store you find, stop at it. Purchasing snacks and drinks in bulk saves time and money.
There isn’t a single way to prepare for unforeseen events because it’s impossible to know what type of challenges you’ll face on the road with your family. By planning ahead and alerting others of your route, knowing the area you’re traveling to, and performing routine maintenance on your vehicle before departing, however, you avoid making the same risks amateur travelers take by being completely unprepared.
Bob Gorman is a freelance writer and a passionate blogger. He likes writing articles that cover travel, automotive and car related topics. He has written numerous articles and contributed to several other blogs. When he is not writing, he spends his time with his four year old son and his wife Lana.