The official start to summer traveling has begun and families across America will be hitting the roads during the next few months. Road trips can be a blast, and surely make for some great memories with your family. Before your family hits the road this summer, check out these tips to help you have a safe road trip. This post is part of a paid partnership with Cooper Tires, but all opinions are my own.
Make sure your vehicle is up for the trip
Before hitting the road, it's important to ensure that the vehicle you plan to travel in is fit for the road. Check your brakes, tires, lights, fluid levels and battery. Toss a small tool kit, jack, spare tire and jumper cables into your trunk or cargo space, just in case anything unforeseen should happen during your trip. Jessica Egerton, Director of Brand Development at Cooper Tires says "While it can be easy to overlook tires, it’s important to remember that your tires are the only 4 things connecting your car to the road. At Cooper®, we encourage everyone to take 10 minutes to check your tires before heading out on the road. It’s as easy as 1,2,3—check the pressure, tread depth and the overall condition of the tire."
Tips to help you have a safe road trip
Aside from making sure that your car is in good condition to drive, there are some other tips that can help you have a safe road trip. Keep these ideas in mind when you're ready to hit the road this summer.
Make sure you're well rested
Getting enough rest before hitting the road is important, so you can ensure that you're alert while driving. If you're planning to drive a long distance, make sure to make a pit stop every few hours, and if it will take you more than 4-5 hours to get to your destination, switching drivers after about 4 hours is a good idea.
Prepare for emergencies
It's always a good idea to keep a first aid kit, flashlights with extra batteries, a blanket, as well as extra water and snacks. It might be a good idea to sign up for a roadside assistance program too, just in case.
Pay attention to your surroundings
I am big on being aware aware while driving because you just never know what the people around you are going to do. Check your mirrors often and make sure that you keep a safe distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you. Paying attention is one of the best ways to avoid an accident.
Know how to hit a pothole the right way
Yes, believe it or not, there really is a right way to hit a pot hole. And the fact of the matter is, potholes are everywhere thanks to damage from the winter months, and American drivers spend an average of $300 on damage to their vehicles from them. There are so many potholes on my road alone, I end up hitting one every time I enter or leave my neighborhood. My poor car has taken quite the beating from them too.
While potholes are in abundance on many roadways, you should try to avoid any potholes by looking at the road ahead of you and by avoiding puddles. If hitting one is inevitable, simply slow down as much as is safely possible and releasing the brakes before you hit the pothole. This will help you to roll gently through the pothole, and hopefully decrease your chance of damaging your tires, wheels or suspension. A Girl's Guide to Cars has a great article on how to avoid damage from potholes.
Plan your route
It's important to know where you're going on a road trip, so program your destination into a GPS, or use a physical map to plan your route. Pay attention to when you have turns coming up, in case you need to move over a lane or two, and to ensure that you have plenty of time to slow down to safely make your turn.
These tips should help you to have a safe road trip. But most of all, try to relax, have fun and enjoy every minute of these precious memories that you're making with your family. If you're ever in the area, I highly recommend traveling The Great River Road Dubuque to Prairie du Chein. It was an epic adventure full of beautiful scenery.