Planning a road trip can be a fun and exciting activity that you can embark on with your family. Just imagine all the places that you’ll see along with the different people you can meet. However, these trips must start with careful planning to ensure that you and your family will be safe on the road. Here are some tips to help you get started:
1. Start With Your Car
When you are going on a road trip, you have to consider that your car will be your home. It should keep you safe, so it is best to get your car tuned up before you head off on your trip. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), you should do the necessary checks for your car brakes, fluids, and air-conditioning system. According to Mithoff Law , failure to make these checks are frequent causes of accidents which result in personal injury lawsuits
2. Get Plenty of Sleep
If you expect to drive long hours, you should get a good sleep. NHTSA also lists drowsy driving as one of the common causes of car accidents. It is perfectly okay to postpone your trip if you or your designated driver is not in great condition to drive. It can put the lives of you or your children at risk. Ensure that you never drive for too long, and switch drivers when necessary.
3. Pack an Emergency Kit
It pays to be ready. Make sure that your emergency kit contains enough water for everybody. Pack warm blankets, a fully charged flashlight, flares, jumper cables, tools, a mobile phone with charged batteries, and a first aid kit. If you have a roadside assistance service, have it handy.
4. Prepare the Car for Children
Before you leave the house, make sure that your car’s back seat is safe for your kids. Check the child safety locks and make sure that they are activated. The same goes for your windows and doors. Make sure that these locks are out of reach, as children can be curious and may fiddle with these items that can become dangerous later on. Don’t forget to scour the back seat to see if you can find any items that may be choking hazards. If you have older children, remind them not to remove their seatbelts while on the road. Sudden stops can be extremely dangerous for your kids if they are not wearing any seatbelts. Snacks that can be a choking hazard should be limited when your vehicle is stopped.
5. Avoid Long Drives
If your road trip will take a long time, make sure to break up the trip into short spurts so it is not too tiring. It doesn’t hurt to choose a spot and enjoy the scenery for a while. This is why it’s important to plan your route accordingly. You should choose highways with designated stops where you can take a break. When at these rest stops, take your time to go to the bathroom, take a nap, or do some stretching. You can also use this time to do another check on your car to see if everything else is functioning well.
6. Don’t Take Phone Calls or Answer Texts
Whenever you are driving, avoid taking calls or answering texts. These distractions can increase the risk of an accident. Make sure that your eyes are always on the road. If you need to make a phone call, you can ask your spouse or older child to do it for you. Better yet, you can wait when you can park on a road shoulder where you can be safe.
7. Double Check Car Seats
Traveling with kids means having the necessary car seats or booster seats to ensure that your children will be safe while you are on the road. Check if the seatbelts are working and that they fit your kids snugly.
8. Entertainment for the Kids
When you have your kids on a long drive with you, chances are they will get bored, so make sure that you pack something fun for them. If they like playing games, pack some cards that they can enjoy. They can also bring some of their toys, but only choose those that they cannot put in their mouths.
One thing you should not forget is to pack snacks for everyone. Kids can get hungry while on the road and they may not be as patient as adults to wait until you reach a store to buy some food. Make sure that you have enough food that they can enjoy.
A family road trip is a fun activity that you should plan accordingly for. Know the do’s and don’ts and make sure to stay safe on the road.