Road trips are a classic American pastime. A network of highways and super-highways criss-cross the entire country, allowing us to travel almost anywhere. If you’re traveling with kids, it’s a double-edged sword. They typically start hyper-excited but begin to fade into grumpiness as the miles and hours roll by. One practical tip is to head out very early in the morning, say 4:00 or 5:00 AM, so that they can sleep for a few of the first hours on the road.
One downfall is getting involved in an accident or experiencing a mechanical breakdown so far from home. If you get yourself into a car, truck, or boating accident while on the road, especially if you or a family member has been injured, contact a Florida auto accident attorney at Searcy Denney. We’ll help you through your long-distance catastrophe before you do anything unwise out of desperation. Just remain calm, and remember that help is just a phone call away.
How Can I Prepare for a Safe Road Trip?
Simply traveling to the local market can be dangerous, and driving long distances is even riskier, and traveling long distances with kids in the back is the most dangerous of all. Fortunately, you can take several CDs to ensure your road trip is all fun with no serious misfortunes. Some of these tips include:
Prepare Your Vehicle
Whether you’ll be driving an automobile or a huge RV, it’s important to make sure your vehicle is prepared for the long haul. Minimally, you should check:
- All fluid levels
- Brake pads
- Wiper blades
- Tires and wheels
- Air filter
- Air conditioner/heater
If you’re not mechanically inclined, it’s best to have a qualified mechanic do these checks.
Prepare What You’ll Need
Aso, pack the necessities you’ll need well before your trip:
- Jumper cables
- First aid kit
- Tool kit
- Tire-changing tools
- Blankets and pillows
- Chains (if traveling through mountains or areas where snow and ice are likely)
- Spare tire
- Warm clothes
- CDs or books on tape
- Movies for the kids, along with earbuds or headphones
It’s easy to get yourself lost in trip preparations, double-checking everything just before leaving. Still, you need to prepare yourself, too. Make sure people know where you’re going. Get a good night’s sleep. Make sure your phones are in working order and be prepared for out-of-range locations. Familiarize yourself with your route and enter the route into a cell phone app. Check the weather forecasts for the areas you’ll be passing through on your route, and wear comfortable clothes.
Alternate Drivers to the Extent Possible
It’s best to take turns driving with anyone with a license and highway driving experience. Set out the rules ahead of time; for example, four-hour shifts, passengers can sleep or stay awake to assist and talk to the driver, passenger navigation responsibilities, etc.
Maintain Safe Distances
Stay as far behind other vehicles as possible; consider employing a “6-seconds” rule, and allow non-drivers to help enforce this rule. Tailgating is a recipe for disaster on a road trip. Who cares if others are passing you by or cutting you off? Be the adult. A road rage incident will ruin your entire trip.
Drive Reasonable Distances
It’s tempting to drive 14 hours a day so that you can spend more time at your destination. A better strategy is eight-hour driving days, enjoying the trip as much as the destination. Your stops should be pre-planned, as discussed above.
NEVER Drive Impaired or Distracted
These are the most important everyday driving rules and are even more important on long trips. Handling distractions should be the job of a passenger.
Stay Gassed Up
You do not want to be stuck alongside the highway because you ran out of gas. The shoulder is an exceptionally dangerous place to be. If you do run out of gas or have a mechanical breakdown, leave the vehicle on the shoulder but keep the people well back from the road to the extent possible. When the gas gauge reaches half-empty, start to look for gas stations. This has the added benefit of allowing you to find cheaper gas and saving you significant money.
Keep Weight Down and Toward the Front End of a Trailer
If too much weight is packed to the front of a trailer, the trailer will swerve unmercifully back and forth, forcing you to stop somewhere and completely re-pack. So it’s best to avoid packing anything heavy in the first place.
Keep Your Phones Charged
Recent-model vehicles come with charging outlets. If you’re traveling in an older vehicle, invest in a portable power charger, and be sure to charge the charger every night when you’re done driving for the day.
Take a List of Important Phone Numbers
Your numbers may be on your phone, but the phone may die, break, or move out of range. Keep a paper list just in case, and be sure to include the number at Searcy Denney: (561) 686-6300.
Pack a Paper Map
A map can come in handy or even save the day if your phone’s directional app loses power or goes out of range. If you don’t know how to read a map, learn before you go. Use a highlighter to trace your route from beginning to end. Consider tasking a passenger with navigating.
Contact a Florida Auto Accident Attorney if You’ve Been Involved in an Accident During Your Road Trip
Road trips are exciting, fun, exhausting, and exhilarating. Proper preparation is critical to ensure that everything goes smoothly, allowing yourself to relax and have guiltless fun. Nonetheless, accidents happen. If you or a loved one are involved in an accident during a road trip, a Florida auto accident attorney at Searcy Denney is only a phone call away. We’ll handle any claims you may have so that hopefully, you can continue with your road trip worry-free. We work on a contingency fee basis, with no risk to you, so contact us to schedule your free consultation.