School is out and summer is the time when families hit the road together for that memorable family vacation. As you plan your road trip and route your destinations, make sure your car has the appropriate first-aid and emergency kit contents and do a maintenance double check to ensure your car is in tip-top shape for the open road.
Ever since I was little, I have always looked forward to vacationing with family and friends. Growing up, we took a lot of road trips because we lived in a very central location to many awesome places. Sure, flights will get you to your destination in a more convenient and sometimes cheaper way, but road trips are a perfect family bonding experience. Check out three road trips across America that you should take with your kids before they are too old to enjoy playing “I Spy” in the car.
Washington D.C. is the perfect road trip for kids because it combines learning with fun. There is an abundance of museums, monuments, attractions and sporting events available in D.C. for your whole family to enjoy. There are so many kid-friendly attractions that offer hands-on experiences.
What to See and Do: Smithsonian Museums, American Art Museum, National Air and Space Museum, National Museum of American History, National Museum of Natural History, National Museum of the American Indian, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, World War II Memorial, Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial, The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, The Korean War Veterans Memorial, Pentagon Memorial, The National Zoo, The National Archives, The International Spy Museum
Road Trip to the Coasts
I have very fond memories of enjoying summers at the beach. Whether you decide to road trip it to Florida, the Carolinas, or California, you are bound to have some fun in the sun. The great thing about going to the beach is that they are in abundance across the U.S. so you can choose the one closest to you. Just grab your swimsuit, sunscreen and sunglasses and be a beach bum with your family!
What to See and Do: the ocean, mini-golf, outlet shopping, ice cream shops, the pool, seafood restaurants, ocean activities: parasailing, kayaking, banana boat rides, scuba diving, dolphin watching
Disney World or Disneyland
Who doesn’t love Mickey and Minnie? While you can enjoy Disney at any age, there’s nothing like seeing your child’s face light up when they see their favorite Disney character in person. Visiting Disney World and Disneyland can be quite an expensive trip, so opting for a road trip instead of flying can save you a lot of money and help you cut some expenses. The Disney experience is a trip that your family will never forget!
What to See and Do: Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, character experiences, water parks, restaurants, shows, parades.
Be Sure to Prepare
So, in order to make a road trip successful, proper planning ahead and smart packing is important. Because you will be spending a lot of time in your car with your family, you should bring safety items like an emergency kit as well as snacks, blankets, and items to keep your kids entertained. You should make sure that your kit includes first aid items as well as items like a flashlight, whistle, and jumper cables as well as a spare tire in case your car breaks down.
Rest and Relaxation v. Drowsy Driving
Be sure that you get proper rest before getting on the road, because long periods of driving can cause you to be drowsy. Also, try to make sure there is as least one person awake with the driver to keep their mind occupied to stay safe and prevent accidents. A good option to have in your car is an alertme “stay awake” device that can help alert you if you dose off. The alertme is also included in some of the kits.
Now that you’re fully prepared and inspired to take the road trip your kids will be talking about for years, take a photo of your family with your resqme tool, use #resqme, and show us what’s on your keychain!
Happy road tripping!
Author: Samantha Tung handles online media relations for Caliber Collision. She regularly produces content for a variety of lifestyle and automotive blogs, and in her spare time, she enjoys taking road trips and traveling.
Written by Social Monsters
When we think about road trips, the risk of potential hazards and safety issues rarely come to mind. Instead, we think about all of the fun we will be having driving across the country with our families. But there is a risk. Today, new technology is being used to keep drivers safer on the roads. Here’s some of today’s top tech to consider for your next road trip.
Never Lose Service, Even in Remote Areas
Oftentimes road trips take us through remote parts of the country, where cellphone service is non-existent. The small problems caused by lack of cellphone service like not having a solid connection to play Pandora or Spotify or not being able to update your status on Facebook are not as bad as what can potentially happen without service. If you experience an emergency out on the road in a remote area you won’t be able to call for help. Having a satellite phone in your driving safety kit is smart. Roadpost offers a wide range of satellite phones, including Iridium phones. These phones rely on 66 low, Earth-orbiting satellites that operate as a completely meshed network. A study conducted by Frost & Sullivan found that the Iridium network has the best call completion rates and quality when compared to competitors. In fact, it’s so reliable the U.S. military uses Iridium phones to communicate.
Apps That Predict Road Conditions
Driving in new areas can be potentially hazardous. From not knowing the conditions or simply not knowing if the roads take a twist or turn, driving in new territories can pose a number of safety risks. However, you can stay safe by using an app that alerts you of road and traffic conditions in real-time. Download the world’s largest community-based navigation and traffic app, Waze, to stay safe on the road. Waze will alert you of any accidents, traffic jams and road hazards before you approach them. Additionally, Waze can help you save on gas, too. The app will steer you in the right direction to help you find the cheapest gas prices on your road trip. Remember, don’t use apps and drive, instead have a passenger navigate the app for you. The Waze app is available on Google Play and Apple’s App Store.
Driver Night Vision
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), reports that 49 percent of fatal accidents happen at night. And according to data fromAuto Liv, the risk of an accident is nearly four times greater at night than in the daytime. That’s why the safety technology company created a night vision system that can help drivers navigate the roads safely after dark. The company believes that headlights aren’t enough, as they only illuminate up to a distance of 44 yards ahead of a vehicle. Anything past this point is rarely seen by the driver. Hazards like fallen rocks or even animals like deer can cause serious harm to your family and heavy damage to your vehicle. The night vision system uses infrared technology to detect hazards up to three times farther than the standard range of headlights, giving drivers more time to react. The sensor is mounted to the vehicle’s grill, if something is detected, the object is highlighted in yellow on an in-cab screen that can be seen by the driver. If the object is in the vehicle’s path, the object will turn red, alerting the driver of the risk. You can avoid accidents by using a night vision system on your next road trip.
Cheers to the end of summer! resqme, Inc. wishes you a happy holiday weekend this Labor Day. We also remind you to stay safe on one of the busiest weekends on highways and roads this year. According to the National Safety Council, Labor Day Weekend is one of the deadliest times for traffic fatalities. This year, the NSC “estimates 394 traffic fatalities and another 42,200 medically consulted injuries may occur over the traditional end-of-summer weekend from motor vehicle collisions.”
Below we offer some tips for safe driving on the road compiled from some of the best sources on highway safety. Again, enjoy the last days of summer and stay safe with your family and those who share the road.
To ensure a safe Labor Day holiday weekend, NSC recommends drivers:
- Establish and enforce a distraction-free zone, especially in cars equipped with electronic devices including cell phones, global positioning systems and other in-vehicle technology
- Make sure all passengers are buckled up and children are in safety seats appropriate for their age and size
- Allow plenty of travel time to avoid frustration and diminish the impulse to speed
- Drive defensively and exercise caution, especially during inclement weather
- Designate a non-drinking driver or plan for alternative transportation, such as a taxi
- If you are drinking, do not drive
- Young drivers are at particular risk to be involved in alcohol-related crashes (If there is a young driver in your family, strictly enforce a zero tolerance policy with alcohol – all states have a zero tolerance law where drivers under the age of 21 cannot have any alcohol in their systems)
- Your best defense against a drunk driver is wearing your safety belt, so buckle up
* Compiled from both 2012/2013 lists.
Getting Your Car in Shape
Avoiding the Madness
The most important thing you can do is leave early. Take on the highways early Saturday morning or before rush hour on Friday. If you’re driving on Labor Day, follow the same rules. Most people will brave their return home in the early evening or late afternoon. Try getting to the highways before 4 p.m. or after 10 p.m. and you should be in much better shape. Another important thing you can do to prepare for Labor Day driving is to plan your route well. Look for alternate routes, program your GPS or use a map to get you where you need to go as fast and efficiently as possible. You also can check online to see if the road you’re planning to take is undergoing repairs or has scheduled lane changes, so you can search for alternatives or plan for additional driving time.
- Perform a pre-trip inspection – Check your tire pressure, wipers and fluids. Simple maintenance can prevent many of the problems that strand motorists on the side of the road before you leave your home.
- Plan your trip – Know where you are going and be prepared to exit. Indecisive driving is a major cause of traffic problems.
- Check the weather forecast and conditions – Weather conditions can change very quickly. Be sure to check the forecast often. Do not attempt to drive through standing water. Watch for road closures and detours.
- Large Trucks Have Blindspots – If you can’t see the truck driver in his or her mirrors, then the truck driver can’t see you.
- Do not cut in front of large trucks – Remember that trucks are heavier and take longer to make a complete stop, so avoid cutting quickly in front of them. A fully loaded tractor trailer takes a football field and both end zones to come to a complete stop when driving at highway speeds.
- Pay Attention – Distracted driving is a leading cause of crashes. Looking away for even two seconds doubles the chances of an accident. Turn cell phones and PDAs off.
- Allow a Safety Cushion – Look 1/4 mile ahead for a safe path. Leave yourself an out.
- Slow Down – Chances of a crash nearly triples when driving faster than surrounding traffic.
- Keep extra water in your vehicle – Just as you keep a winter driving kit in your vehicle, it is important to be prepared when driving during the summer months. Keep plenty of extra water, sunscreen and non-perishable snacks in your car in case you are stranded.
- Buckle Up – Safety belts are not a fashion statement – they save lives.
- Abide by Traffic Rules – Follow traffic signs and signals – paying special attention to work zones is important during this high construction season.
- Be Careful Backing Up – One in four preventable collisions involve backing up. Be sure to look before backing up; walk around your car prior to departure.
Sources: National Safety Council, Loudoun County Traffic: Labor Day Driving Safety Tips via USA Today, and The American Trucking Associations
Have Fun and Stay Safe!
-The resqme team