4 years ago ·
by Agency ·
Comments Off on Tips For Road Trips
If you’re planning a road trip with your family, you’ll want to start checking off this safety list at least a few days before you hit the open road.
1. Go for a tune-up. For smooth sailing (and overall sanity), make sure your car is in good working order. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends that you have your tires, battery, belts, fluids, and air conditioner checked by a qualified mechanic. If you’re driving in a hot climate or towing a boat or trailer, you may need a motor oil with a higher viscosity.
2. Get a good night’s sleep. According to the NHTSA, driving while drowsy is a contributing factor in 100,000 accidents annually. Drive only when well rested, and switch off with another driver every few hours, if possible.
3. Give your car seat or booster seat a boost. If you are travelling with a child and you are not sure if your car seats or booster seats are installed 100 percent correctly: eight out of 10 aren’t, putting children at a serious risk for injury or death. Call 866-SEAT-CHECK to find a nearby location for a free safety seat inspection.
4. Gear up for safety. The NHTSA recommends packing an emergency kit that includes:
- Warm blankets
- A flashlight
- Jumper cables
- Tools to change a tire
- A fully charged cell phone
- A first-aid kit
It’s also wise to subscribe to a roadside assistance plan—just make sure you know where to call in an emergency and what kind of assistance your policy includes. Give John a call to make sure you are covered and if you do not have insurance with us, let us quote you.
5. Keep the weight down. Store heavy items low in the seat wells so they won’t become projectiles during a sudden stop. For the same reason, suitcases, strollers, and anything else stowed in an open cargo area should be battened down.
6. Adjust your posture. Make a conscious effort to sit up straight, because slouching can make you drowsy. “People often sit too far away from the steering wheel and pedals,” says Ben Collins, a former NASCAR and stunt driver and author of How to Drive. “Your legs should be bent so you can exert strong pressure on the brake pedal, and your elbows need to be slightly bent so that you can use all your strength to turn the wheel if necessary.”
7. Look away from lights. Thanks to bright headlights of oncoming cars, you can be “blinded by the light,” as the old song goes. The eyeball has two types of receptors, and the ones working at night are extremely sensitive, says Collins. “Avert your gaze to the lower right shoulder of the road. Your peripheral vision will allow you to continue driving in the correct direction.”
8. Ignore phone calls. Even if you’re hands-free, talking on the phone is dangerous. The region of the brain that processes moving images decreases its activity by up to one third when you’re listening to the other side of the line. Talking on the phone and driving at the same time is like talking on the phone and watching TV—you’re going to miss something on one end or the other.