Written by: Matt Milstead
Summer is here and it is time to pack your bags for that long awaited trip or vacation. Regardless of whether you are traveling by plane and planning on renting a car or taking a road trip, you always want to make sure you are traveling safely. Traveling safely includes more than just knowing your destination, keeping your items together, and not looking too much like a tourist; traveling safely also means making sure that you take the right traffic precautions. The issue with this though is that it can be very difficult to do this when you are unaware of your destination’s roads and traffic standards. Luckily though, there are still a number of things you can do to make sure you’re staying safe on the road.
Local Point of Contact – Just in Case
No matter where your destination is, one truly helpful thing that you can do when you are on the road is to have a local point of contact. Whether it is a hotel, police department, friend, or family member, choosing an establishment or an individual to contact in case of an emergency can be extremely useful. Emergencies include car accidents, faulty car issues, and even getting lost. In addition, because of your proximity to your contact, you can get the help you need much faster. If you do not have a friend or family member or do not know of any establishment, one idea is to reach out to your friends to see if they may know someone. Chances are that they will.
Stop Driving When You are Tired – Even with No Hotel or Motel in Sight
Some of the most serious car accidents are the result of tired drivers. Being on vacation does not mean that you need to push yourself too hard when you drive. If you find that you are tired while on the road, then do the right thing and pull over immediately, which means not driving until there is an accommodation. Just because you’re pulling over does not mean that you need to suffer either. With the right planning, you can stay safe and comfortable. Before leaving on your trip, take with you a pillow, blanket, and just in case you come across a camp ground when you stop, take a tent too. If you do decide to sleep in your car, keep it locked and the windows rolled up.
Some Things are Best Kept Quiet
One of the most important safety tips for traveling on the road is to not advertise your travels. Walking into a hotel or restaurant and making friends is fine, but letting people know that you are traveling on the road can lead to a dangerous dilemma. People can realize you have valuables in your car, which can cause you to become a target of some unwanted attention.
Be Prepared for an Emergency
Car accidents happen, and so do other situations where you need to immediately exit your car. If you do find yourself in a flood, mudslide, or car accident, you can use a nifty tool that helps you safely break the window and get you and other travelers to safety. Once you do exit the car, call emergency services and speak to a relative to inform that you are ok.
Bring Back the Old School Map
As much as you and others are constantly inclined to use cell phones and tablets for directions, not every car is able to charge your technology and you may sometimes find yourself in an area with limit resources. To be better prepared and to protect yourself, one of the best things you can do to be safe when driving is to take an old school map with you – and learn how to use it. This way, if your technology does give out, you can still reach your destination safely.
Travel with the Right Information
If an accident does happen or if a cop does pull you over, you also should make sure you have the right travel information on you. For example, you should keep your license on you at all times, your ownership deed of your car, and your car insurance. According to Itrek, it is also necessary to keep your own travel insurance in your vehicle when you drive, as it is especially useful if an accident does happen.
Traveling on the road is meant to be a fun and adventurous experience. By taking the right precautions above, like checking your car for issues, keeping a first aid kit for you and your vehicle, taking emergency tools with you, and having the right paperwork in your vehicle, you can ensure that your car travel is as safe as possible. You shouldn’t have anything in your way but the open road and good experiences.