Last Updated on September 30, 2022 by John Robinson
A family road trip is one of the best ways to create precious memories with your loved ones. It also exposes your children to different local cultures and teaches them to be more mindful of the present. However, family road trips come with their own set of safety risks, so managing them efficiently is essential. Here are five road trip safety tips for families to help ensure your next road adventure runs safely and smoothly.
Have your vehicle serviced
Before your trip, have a professional mechanic run a vehicle safety check so that you can address hidden issues immediately. Make sure your vehicle is up-to-date on its tire rotation, fluid services, oil change, filter replacement, and battery services. Scheduling a tune-up before you hit the road can prevent car troubles and ensure your vehicle is in excellent working condition.
Keep a roadside emergency kit
A well-stocked roadside emergency kit is essential during family road trips. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, your roadside kit should contain:
- Jumper cables
- First aid kit
- Tire pressure gauge
- Nonperishable food
- Extra windshield washer fluid
- Emergency blankets
- Cell phone and charger
Make sure you know how to use each item. Also, try to learn some basic vehicle maintenance tasks so you can be well-equipped to handle simple car troubles, should the inevitable happen.
Distracted driving is one of the country’s leading causes of vehicular accidents. No matter how competent you are as a driver, you should always drive mindfully and follow traffic rules. Get plenty of quality sleep the night before your trip to ensure you’re well-rested for a day of long driving. If traveling with another capable adult, make it a point to take shifts every few hours. Remind your family members, especially your little ones, not to distract you when you’re behind the wheel and avoid talking in loud volumes. If you need to use your phone, pull over safely onto the shoulder, but remember to take precautions and alert other drivers on the road.
Child-proof your vehicle
Securing your little ones should be a priority during family road trips. Clean your vehicle thoroughly and remove any potential child hazards. Your kids’ car or booster seats should be properly installed and must suit their age, height, and weight. Most car seats usually expire between six to eight years from the manufacture date, so make sure to replace them if necessary. Choose a child safety seat brand, such as Diono, as they have been producing high-quality products for over 20 years.
Some families tend to overpack as they believe they need to bring all their essentials since they’ll be on the road for a long time. However, too much luggage means lesser cargo space and extra car weight. Limit your bags and organize them properly to prevent them from obstructing your view of the road. Pack only what’s necessary and never carry more than your vehicle can handle.
Safety should always be a priority when planning a family road trip. Make sure to follow these road safety tips and remember to have fun with your little ones.