Every year we read horrific statistics of people who have been killed or injured while on the roads during the summer rush for holidays. While some of those accidents were just that, an accident that was caused by something simple that could not be avoided, there are ways that many of us can cut prevent accidents. If you have an older car that is always in need of repair, make sure that you have a thorough checkup before heading out for that summer road trip this year.
But even if you have the most recent model of AMG Mercedes, it is always wise to get your mechanic or local dealership to check it out for wear and tear before heading for the open road. Beyond this, there are a few basic safety tips you can follow to help keep you and your family safe when on the road this summer.
Drive with Attention and Care
When we head out with our family for the summer road trip, it can be a time of great distraction. You may have kids in the back who are quarreling among themselves or a partner in the front seat who is fiddling with the radio. All of these distractions need to come second to paying attention to the road in front of you.
All it takes is a moment of distraction with your eyes off the road to have consequences that will haunt you for the rest of your life. A simple act like turning your head to talk to one of the kids in the back seat can cause your hands on the wheel to turn and the car to drift across the lane and into oncoming traffic. Impatience with the car in front of you that causes you to pass them in a dangerous area with a blind turn can lead to the same situation. Take your time, stay focused and leave the distractions to others in the car.
Seatbelts remain the number one safety feature in every car, so don’t hesitate to demand that everyone in your car is wearing one. Kids can be restless in a car during a long ride, so make sure you insist that they continue to wear them even if they want to sit in a way that doesn’t allow them to buckle up.
The bottom line is always safety and their comfort is not as important as their safety. If they become restless, more frequent stops along the way can help. Which leads us to the next safety tip.
Plan for Rest Stops and Scenic Views
Sometimes we get so caught up in getting to our destination that we forget that the journey there is part of this holiday trip. When you are planning that long road trip, be sure to factor in plenty of time to stop along the way. There are road side rest stops along most major highways, and they are usually marked on any road map or if you are using Google Maps to plan your route.
You can also plan to stop at interesting places along the way. When I was a child we always stopped at the little towns that dotted our highways and had a picnic lunch in the town’s main town park. It gave us a bit of a release from highway driving, a stop in a cool green shady place and a bit of a walk through a little town we could explore a bit before heading back on the highway. Always plan to take a bit of a detour to make the road trip a bit more interesting and give the driver a break.
When you follow these tips, you will find that you have an enjoyable road trip instead of a dangerous one. The roads are littered with people in too much of a hurry to be careful, so don’t be one of them. Take your time, drive safely and get to your destination ready to enjoy the rest of your holiday.