With Labor Day weekend just around the corner, many families will be using the time to take family road trips, and indeed, some people may have already gotten on their way. But with the roads filled with heavy amounts of traffic, it’s imperative that drivers understand the proper precautions to take in order to avoid a crash. They can do so with some advice from the Better Business Bureau disclosed in a new report.
Ensure safety of the vehicle itself by bringing it in to a mechanic before you head out on any lengthy trips. A service station should be able to verify that tire pressure is where it needs to be, all fluids are topped off properly, and that there are no serious issues that could force you off the road in the middle of nowhere.
And just in case you do get stuck on the side of the road because of some type of breakdown, you’ll want to be prepared for all potentialities. Jumper cables are a must in case all you need is a jump to get you to a nearby service station. Having some extra food and water on hand is also a great idea for when you and your family start to get hungry. To protect your interests if you get stuck at night, make sure to have a flashlight available as well. And the one essential item you should never leave home without is a first aid kit to be used in case of an emergency.
Once you’re actually on your way, defensive driving is the way to go. When you travel through unfamiliar environs, you must keep your senses finally attuned to the immediate area. That means abstaining from alcohol consumption any time you’re going to be behind the wheel. It also means that you should leave phone calls, texts, and GPS usage to a passenger. That way, you can keep your focus solely on the environment.
You also don’t want to push yourself past your limits. On a family road trip, the temptation is to get up as early as possible and drive as long as possible. Fatigue can set in easily on this type of trip. Avoid such a hazardous situation by taking the time to rest up between travels and switching with another licensed drivers at regular intervals.
Cut down on aggressive maneuvers. You may want to get to a theme park’s brand new roller coaster as soon as possible to beat the crowds, but that’s no excuse to drive dangerously. Put plenty of space between yourself and other vehicles and obey all laws and traffic signals. Leave the thrills to those in the themed attraction business.
Finally, make sure everyone in your family knows not to distract you and that they’re protecting themselves by buckling up.