Summer road trips are a tradition for many Americans. Across the nation, families, couples, and friends pile into cars and prepare for an adventure. While trekking across the nation’s highways and byways can certainly create lifelong memories, it’s important to minimize risk. If you’re hitting the road this summer, whether visiting the Keys or heading to the midwest to check out a national park, make sure to keep these safety tips in mind.
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Safety Tips for Driving Long Distances
Break up the monotony of the road with frequent stops. While we tend to focus on arriving at our destination as quickly as possible, make the stops part of the fun. Not only will it allow you to get a break from the wheel but you may discover some beautiful places along the way.
While you probably aren’t sweating while driving, your air conditioner is actually dehydrating you. Make sure to drink plenty of fluids. Those extra bathroom breaks will give you a chance to stretch your legs, too.
Carry Important Papers
Before heading out of town, make sure you have your registration and insurance information. Also, consider writing down (archaic, we know) any important numbers like those of your credit card carriers in case you lose your phone or wallet. Let friends or family know you’re hitting the road.
Limit Driving Time
There’s a reason truck drivers are limited to driving a certain amount of hours a day. Staring at the road for long stretches can make you feel drowsy. Commit to a set number of hours a day and if you start to feel drowsy, pull over.
No, we’re not talking about gas, we’re talking about food. When driving for long periods, make sure to have some healthy snacks on hand. Nuts and trail mixes are great for keeping your energy up.
If you’re driving with a friend or spouse, share the wheel. This can help reduce the stress of driving and allow you to get further by allowing you to stay on the road longer.
Put the Cellphone Away
Your phone is a distraction—one you don’t need while driving. Not only is it dangerous to text and drive, in some states, it’s illegal.
Know the Rules
Before heading out of state, why not check to see what different drivings laws are enforced at your destination. For example, handheld phones and headphones while driving may net you a ticket or heavy fines in some states but not others.
Plan for Fun
If you’re traveling with kids, plan to bring some favorite toys, books, and music. Understand that their attention span is shorter than yours. Check for cool playgrounds en route and keep a football or other toy to play with at rest stops.
You should have extra water and a first aid kit in your trunk. In addition, consider purchasing a battery pack for your phone if you are using it as your GPS.
We’re lucky to live in a nation with so many beautiful places to visit, from our beaches right here in Tampa to the Ozarks, Rockies, and beyond. Whether you’re planning on visiting a few amusement parks across the state or going white water rafting in the Colorado River, make sure to stay focused on the road while driving to reach your destination safely. From all of us at Winters & Yonker, we hope you have a safe, fun summer.