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:
Make sure your vehicle is up to date on its maintenance schedule, and be sure to check the battery and tires. A dead battery or tire blow-out in the middle of nowhere is dangerous and expensive. By making sure your tires have good tread left and are properly inflated, and your battery is fully charged, you'll save yourself a lot of headaches down the road.
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) Stay focused on the road ahead.
Seems obvious, but driver inattention is the cause of a lot of accidents. If you stay focused behind the wheel and not let kids or electronic devices such as music players or cell phones divert your attention, you will have a much safer 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 have shown 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 by always locking your doors, using steering wheel locks, switches that disable fuel or ignition systems, and electronic tracking devices. Put any valuables you cannot carry with you hidden out of view in the trunk.
7) Know what to do 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.
Source: Progressive Insurance Company