1. Make sure your vehicle is in good road-safe condition before you start out! Things like checking your tire pressure, ensuring that the lights are in working order...small things that could become big things if ignored!
2. Check your fuel, water and oil levels before you leave home! The night before any long trips, one member of our family always checks these and makes any necessary adjustments.
3. Buckle up! Yes, it's one of the most commonly ignored road rules, so I thought I'd mention it here. Seat belts are installed for a reason-to keep you and your family safe!
4. If you're towing a U-Haul or other trailer, make sure the connections are hooked up properly! We started out on a trip one time only to realize miles down the road that the trip wire was not connected! Big mistake, but thankfully we caught it before anything happened.
5. Make sure your brakes are in top-notch shape! I listed this one separately because we have had one too many scary experiences with this one. Headed down the mountains of Pennsylvania, pulling a travel trailer...when the brakes started burning out going down it was not a pleasant feeling!
6. Make sure the route you're taking won't be too much for your vehicle. Again, this can tie into the brakes, but there is more than mountains to be worried about. A trip up north in the winter could be taxing on your car if you live down south. If you're headed north during the cold, snowy months make sure you have taken all the necessary precautions! Or, you could be headed to the dry, hot plains of Texas or New Mexico...again, make sure it won't take a toll on your vehicle!
7. If you have young children, be sure to have the car seats buckled in properly. And make sure the car seats are the proper size/security for your child's age!
8. Don't text or talk on the cellphone while driving! You may think you can do both, but believe me...you will end up paying more attention to your conversation than your driving!
9. Go the speed limit! I get sooo tired of seeing people exceed the speed limit by a good 15-25 MPH! Again, the speed limits are put in place for a reason. Not only is it dangerous for you and your family, but also for the other drivers around you.
10. Obey the road signs. If a sign says train tracks ahead, don't speed up-stay at the speed limit, and pay attention! Don't ignore the road work signs, because you just might end up plowing into a barricade and injuring yourself, a family member, or a worker.
So, these are my top 10 tips for staying safe on a road trip. Please share any tips you might have...I love hearing from my readers! And, to get you started, here are a couple tips from Safelite Auto Glass. I have to admit, I wasn't familiar with some of the statistics they shared (like the windshield is a car's 3rd most important safety feature, right behind seat belts and airbags). So pay attention!
A chip could turn into a crack at any time, often when you are least expecting it. Windshield repair is often a safe and economical alternative to a full windshield replacement.
Some unethical companies – windshield bullies -- take advantage of the fact that insurance companies cover the cost of the repair, so they’re using it as a way to file fraudulent charges to the insurance company when there isn’t really damage. These types of scammers are show up at car washes, gas stations and even go door-to-door and pressuring you to file unnecessary claims. If you suspect damage, go to a trusted vendor who will inspect the glass before performing work.
Forget do-it-yourself repair kits. The resin could easily shrink or yellow, lowering the quality of the repair. Safelite AutoGlass uses a patented repair process… A vacuum is created over the damaged area and the resin penetrates and fills the finest micro-cracks. The technician pulls off the vacuum changer and the UV light hardens the resin. Safelite’s resin is proven to be the strongest and longest lasting on the market.
I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Safelite blogging program, for a gift card worth $30. For more information on how you can participate, click here.