Road Trip! 12 Tips to Get You There Safely
One of the joys of summer is the family road trip. The chance to get away from it all (even if it involves noisy kids in the back seat) is a real highlight of each year for many people in the National Capital Region. Whether it’s a trip to the cottage, camping, to another big city, the pull of the open road can be irresistible – but you can, of course, also run into trouble. If you do, you’ll be thankful that you were well-prepared. Ensure your summer road trip is a safe one in 2015 by following these tips to make it a trip to remember for yourself, your family and friends.
Before you head out:Spending a bit of time on basic preparations can really pay off in the end, and give you the peace of mind to enjoy your vacation without worry. Here are some ideas to consider.
- If you are travelling to the United States, you’ll definitely want travel insurance for your family (and you may want to ask about if you’re traveling within Canada but out of province from Ontario.) Speak to your local Eastern Ontario insurance broker about your options to make sure that you’re well-covered for whatever may arise.
- Make sure your oil is topped up and other fluids (coolant, washer fluid, etc.) are good to go.
- Inflate your tires to the proper PSI. Not only are properly-inflated tires safer, giving you better control on the road, having properly inflated tires can also help you avoid getting a flat. And perhaps best of all, they’re also likely to save you fuel on those long journeys.
- Review your route for the day’s journey one last time before beginning the trip; having that familiarity with the route might make it easier in the event you do get lost or run into trouble. You certainly don’t want to be constantly looking down or over at your GPS, and having a good idea of the route can guide you in the event of detours related to contruction, road closures, or other unforeseen circumstances.
- If you belong to an auto club such as the CAA, ensure that your membership is up to date.
- If you don’t have one already, add an emergency kit to your vehicle. Items may include a tire repair kit and pump, flares, jumper cables, water, snacks, a first aid kit, a flashlight and more.
On the road:
- Travelling with a pet? Experts recommend that dogs should be either held in with a purpose-designed harness, or in a well-ventilated crate that is restrained. Easier said than done with some animals, but by the same token, better safe than sorry – in the event of a collision, pets can be launched forward through the air.
- Allowing pets to roam free throughout the vehicle can also prove to be a distraction for drivers.
- Make it a policy to not allow the gas below 1/3rd of a tank, just in case you run into unexpected traffic, weather, or other delays.
- When making a stop during your road trip, keep your valuables well-hidden out of view to reduce the risk of a potential smash-and-grab.
- Set a daily limit of how many hours you can drive, and stick to it. Reaction time and attention fades as you get more tired, and fatigued driving can be dangerous. Additionally, long drives can be tedious, causing your attention to wander.
- If there are multiple drivers, share the driving duties (but check that your auto insurance allows for this beforehand).
- Avoid distracted driving – safely pull over into a well-lit area if you need to make a call or view a text message.