Whether you're traveling alone, with a buddy or with your spouse and a car full of kids, there are few things more "American" than the long-distance road trip. Countless vacation travelers will drive the highways looking for fun and making memories with every mile.
If traveling down the "holiday road" is in your plans, take the time to prepare for your trip. You'll have a more enjoyable vacation if you plan carefully. Here are a few driving tips.
1) Maintain your car. Make sure your vehicle is up to date on its maintenance schedule, and be sure to check the battery and tires.
2) Plan your trip and know where you're going. Call ahead for proper and safe directions to get you to your destination safely and have maps of the area on hand to help you navigate once you are off the main road. You're more likely to make good decisions, even in dangerous situations, if you're clearheaded and know where you're going.
3) Be alert. Seems obvious, but driver inattention is surely the cause of a lot of accidents. If you stay focused behind the wheel and plan carefully, you will have a wonderful summer road trip.
4) Take precaution with a cell phone. Cell phones can be a lifesaver when you need immediate access to emergency services after an accident. Keep your phone within easy reach and get to know its features. However, use it prudently. Reports suggest that driving while talking on the phone increases accident rates.
5) Wear your seat belt. Whether or not it's required by law in the state through which you're driving, always wear your seat belt as a safety precaution.
6) Protect your car against theft. Help deter criminals from taking your car with steering wheel locks, switches that disable fuel or ignition systems, and electronic tracking devices.
7) If you're in an accident. Taking immediate steps if you've been in an accident can protect your family and your car from further damage. Stop immediately and make sure your car is not blocking traffic. Turn off your car to keep it from overheating or catching fire. Warn oncoming cars using road flares or orange triangle reflectors. After you have protected yourself and your family, call your insurance company immediately.
8) Make sure your auto insurance is up to date. Before you even leave the driveway, you want to be sure you're protected when you're on the road and far from home. An independent insurance agent or broker can provide the personal service and advice you need to travel in confidence. To find an agent or broker, go to driveinsurance.com.
To be safe, be smart on your next long-distance road trip.