If you are planning a long car trip, there will be a lot of things you need to sort out for your journey and your time away. Here are some essential driving safety tips for long journeys.
Check Your Car
Taking your car on a long journey will be grueling for both you and your car so you need to make sure it is in the best condition possible. This will help you to avoid any mishaps or breakdowns along the way. Make sure you have enough gas to get you as far as possible before refueling. Also, make sure you have topped up your oil and water and checked your tire pressure. Check your brakes and brake pads and make sure your lights and wipers work correctly.
Pack an Emergency Kit
Hopefully, you won’t need an emergency kit, but it is best to have one with you just in case. Keep this in an accessible part of your car, as you don’t want to have to unload all your luggage to get to it. You should take:
- First aid kit
- Jumper cables
- High-visibility jacket
- A fully charged phone
It’s also a good idea to have a list of essential phone numbers, such as lawyers in case of car or commercial truck accidents, as well as the details of your medical insurance provider.
Consider Breakdown Cover
Joining a breakdown scheme such as that run by AAA will save you a lot of headaches if your car breaks down. They will send someone out to fix it by the side of the road or tow you to the nearest garage if they are unable to fix it there and then. You will pay an annual membership, but that will then cover you for any other journeys you make during that time. It is worth paying the premium for peace of mind even if you don’t need to use it.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Driving while tired can be incredibly dangerous. You are much more likely to have an accident if you feel sleepy as your reactions will be a lot lower and you won’t be able to get yourself out of trouble easily. Falling asleep at the wheel can be fatal. Make sure you get a good night’s sleep before you set out on your journey and pull over if you start to feel tired.
Plan Your Route
Knowing where you are going will make the journey a lot less stressful. As well as knowing what roads you are going to drive on, also factor in where you will take breaks, stop for gas and snacks, and which motels you will stay in overnight. If you plan for these eventualities, you won’t be caught on the freeway with no fuel, or the need to sleep in the car.
These are some important safety tips to consider when you are planning a long journey and most of them can be carried out before you even get behind the wheel. To drive safely, plan ahead and take care of the essentials before you set out.