When going on vacation or traveling short to medium distances, our cars are usually our first choice for transportation due to the comfort they offer and the flexibility they offer. However, as we all know, traveling by car also has its dangers and risks, but even so, there are some things that we can do in order to reduce the risks and increase the safety and peace-of-mind. Whether you are going on a homeschool field trip to Norfol Virginia, or you are using up your annual timeshare, preparing for travel safety is better than not preparing at all. Following is a good starting list with some of the most important preparation ideas in no particular order of importance. Use this list to build your own, and be sure to research additional items that may be particular to your custom travel needs.
1. Before going on a road trip make sure you have the following in your car: first aid kit, blankets, a flash-light, flares, cables, a map, a set of headlight bulbs and some cash - because you never know when you're going to need it.
2. Make sure that your car is in good travel shape. Check and adjust the pressure in your tires accordingly and the pressure in your spare tire also. Be sure to go through the fluid and oil levels and make adjustments as necessary. Check for leaks in the coolant system and other systems that may cause your trip to be interrupted or uncomfortable.
3. If you are going on a road trip with your children, make sure that they are safely secured in the necessary restraints at all times. It would also be a good idea to learn about the regulations that are in place in your area regarding kids traveling by car.
4. Before setting out, plan your entire route as well as some additional excursion routes or alternatives. You can easily do this online using specialized websites that also provide you with a lot of additional useful information, such as the location of gas stations and places where you can rest. If you have a Triple A membership, you may still be able to get a Triptik completed for your custom vacation.
5. Don't let your kids ride in the front seat because in the eventuality of an accident they might be seriously injured by the airbags. All the children under the age of 12 should stay in the backseat. Additionally, some children who are 12 years and older may not meet certain height and weight requirements to be safe from passenger-side airbags. A little homework and preparation can prevent an unnecessary tragedy.
6. Refrain from writing text messages while driving because it's one of the main causes behind car crashes currently. It's been scientifically proven that a driver writing a text message has a significantly diminished reaction time when compared to one that is focused on the road. It is even wise to pull over to dial numbers on your cell phone and make calls. Anything that diverts your complete attention from driving can increase your chance of an accident.
7. Have a list with all the necessary emergency numbers on your person. In case of an emergency, this could save you a lot of precious time. It can also add some peace-of-mind, which is an additional benefit for your vacation.
8. If at any point you feel tired or depleted just stop and take the needed break. Remember, the most important thing is to get to your destination safely, and the time of arrival is secondary to safety. There really is no point in risking one or more lives to save some time.
9. If you experience sudden weather changes and your visibility gets significantly reduced, just stop and proceed when you can drive under normal conditions again. Overconfidence in one's driving abilities or in one's vehicle traction is also one of the common causes behind car crashes.
10. If you are going on a family road trip, pack extra supplies that you can use in case of an emergency or if you get lost or stranded. A little "what-if" preparation and supplies can mean the difference between survival and unfortunate death in the unlikely event you are stranded in extreme conditions or away from necessary life essentials like food and water for an extended period of time.
11. If you have to attend to one of your kids it is clearly best to stop the car first. You won't be able to stay focused on the road and on the child at the same time. It is better to lose a few minutes than to potentially lose a life.
12. If you have another driver with you, take turns behind the wheel. If you are driving alone, turn on the radio or put on some up-beat music to avoid falling asleep. Not using the cruise control can also help you stay awake if you are feeling a tad bit groggy.
13. Know your limits! Be sure that if you are taking any medication that you are aware of the warnings and precautions. If your medicines warn you not to operate machinery while taking them, then it is best to follow the warning. Also, if you have had any alcoholic beverages, be sure to allow for enough time for their effects to be completely out of your system. Being over-confident is not an admirable or prudent trait.
In summary, use this list to get started. You can do additional research on other safety and travel sites to be sure to cover all of the necessities for your specific vacation. Why not do your due diligence and be safe? Preparation can ensure a successful vacation, but it can also greatly improve the likelihood that you will be able to travel more in the future.
About the writer: Aaron Schulman is an avid web publisher, guitar player, and proud husband , father and home-school parent. He recently wrote an interview and editorial for a new travel membership company for discounted travel. He also enjoys writing about guitars and travel companion guitars like a recent Baby Taylor review , a small but quality travel guitar. Other interests are cooking, golf, reading and spending time with his wife and 3 girls.