Posted on May 24, 2018
Road Trip Safety: It's Important!

Do you remember when Clark Griswold drove the “family truckster” off a closed road, getting big air along the way? As funny as this scene is, it shows just how dangerous it can be to take your eyes off the road.

If you have a road trip planned for this spring or summer, one word should be dancing through your mind: safety!

Safety comes first at all times. Sure, you want to have fun. Sure, you want to show your family a good time. Even so, nobody will have fun if you put their safety in danger.

It’s one thing to understand the importance of road trip safety. It’s another thing entirely to implement a strategy for avoiding disaster. 

Here are three simple tips you can follow as you embark on your next big road trip:

1. Prepare Your Vehicle

A vehicle that is unprepared for a road trip is one that is more likely to fail you. Have you checked all your fluids? Are your windshield wipers working? Are your tires properly inflated?

If you don’t have the expertise to inspect and prepare your vehicle, stop by your mechanic’s garage and let him know you are hitting the road. This is often the best way to guarantee that your vehicle is road ready.

2. Remain Distraction Free

There are many types of driving distractions, with each one fitting into one of these categories (courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention):

  • Visual: when you take your eyes off the road. 
  • Manual: when you take your hands off the steering wheel. 
  • Cognitive: when your mind is no longer on the task at hand.

A visual distraction, for example, could be something as simple as answering a text message or reaching for a beverage. Both of these activities will cause you to take your eyes off the road, thus being classified as a distraction.

In the United States alone, more than 1,100 people are injured every day in an accident involving a distracted driver.

3. Don’t Drive When You are Tired

Just the same as distractions, drowsy driving is extremely dangerous. This isn’t typically an issue on short trips, such as those that only take a couple of hours. However, if you are tackling a longer journey, maybe across the entire country, it’s imperative to take breaks when you are tired.

Here is an interesting statistic from the National Sleep Foundation’s 2005 Sleep in America poll:

“60% of adult drivers – about 168 million people – say they have driven a vehicle while feeling drowsy in the past year, and more than one-third, (37% or 103 million people), have actually fallen asleep at the wheel!”

If you don’t think this can happen to you, think again. This statistic proves that drowsy driving is a serious problem.

A road trip can be the time of your life, but only if you put safety above everything else. 

Do you have any other tips to add to this list? 

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