Traveling with family is fun and overwhelming at the same time. Even though it gets easier with time, you are sure to run into some challenges every time you’re on the road, especially with kids on board. To have a smooth and hassle-free family trip, you must be adequately prepared before hitting the road. Being prepared for your trip is more than what you bring with you. In fact, there is a checklist of road safety tips to avoid safety hazards and make your traveling experience a lot easier. Here are some road safety tips to get you through your family trip.
Road Safety Tips to Keep in Mind When Traveling With Your Family
Always Remember the Basics of Road Safety
It’s easy to get distracted while on a long trip with your family. Driving with kids in the car can make your attention shift from the road, especially if they’re crying, whining, or picking fights with each other. Remember, it’s always wise to pull over if you need to reach into the backseat to tend to your kids.
You should also refrain from using your phone and take additional precautions when making left-hand turns. Left-hand turns are dangerous for several reasons, so you need to be extremely attentive to potential hazards.
Prepare Your Car
Your car should be in good condition before setting out for an adventure with your family. This will save you the trouble of having to stop somewhere along the road to fix the vehicle while dealing with tired and fussy children on board.
Ideally, you should perform a basic safety check to make sure that your car’s tire pressure, fluids levels, wiper blades, air conditioning, and lights are in good shape. You also need a spare tire, a disaster supply kit, and a pair of battery jumpers in your trunk just in case of a breakdown or accident.
Follow the Car Seat Safety Protocol
Each year, thousands of children die or get injured in car crashes. Therefore, as a parent, you are responsible for keeping your kids safe when they’re riding a vehicle. One of the best ways to do that is by ensuring that their car seat is safe and secure. This means using the right car seat for your kid’s weight, height, and age.
Here are some important tips to consider when choosing a car seat for your little one:
- Babies below two years should ride in a rear-facing child safety seat.
- Once your child is two years old or has reached the maximum weight or height allowed by the manufacturer of their infant-only seat, they should use a forward-facing safety seat.
- If your child is too big for the forward-facing seat, they should start using a belt-positioning booster seat until they are about 4 feet 9 inches in height or until the lap and shoulder seat fits them properly.
- When your child is old enough to use the lap and shoulder seat belts, they should always sit in the back seat for optimal protection.
Be Prepared for Bad Weather
Bad weather can turn an immaculately planned road trip into a total nightmare. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, poor weather conditions cause approximately one million crashes and 6,000 deaths every year.
While you can’t accurately predict the weather, you can look up typical weather patterns for the area you’re traveling to. This will help you get an idea of what to expect. By doing this, you stay mentally prepared and come up with a backup plan in case you need to stop traveling.
Get Plenty of Sleep Before Driving
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 25 drivers fall asleep behind the wheel, and many more have admitted to driving when they’re sleep-deprived. This just shows how prevalent drowsy driving is. What most drivers don’t realize is how much danger they’re in when they hit the road feeling sleepy. It’s just like driving under the influence of alcohol.
To avoid getting into an accident, you should aim to get between seven to nine hours of sleep the night before going on your family trip. You also need to stop and rest whenever you feel fatigued.
Stay Safe on Your Upcoming Family Road Trip
Road trips are a great way to explore the world while spending quality time with your family. However, you need to plan your trip well to ensure safe and smooth travels. While you can’t exactly prepare for unforeseen events, you need to know the area you’re traveling to and perform routine maintenance on your vehicle to avoid getting stranded on the road.