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June 14, 2013

Road Trip Safety Top 10

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Road trips can be a fun and inexpensive way to start your vacation during the summer. Take a look at our top 10 safety tips to help you and your family safely reach your destination.

1. Drive During the Day

You will be most alert during the day, so avoid starting trips at night. If your trip crosses over multiple days, make reservations at a motel before you leave. That way, you aren’t tempted to  keep driving when you’re tired.

2. Tune Up Your Vehicle

Before your trip, go to an auto repair shop for a maintenance tune up. Check your vehicle’s alignment, tire pressure, air conditioner and fluid levels. Make sure you have fresh oil and your spare tire is filled.

3. Fill Up

Start off your trip with a full tank, and don’t let your gas get below ¼ tank. You never know when the next station will be, so keep your tank filled.

4. Buckle Up

A properly-worn seat belt is your best protection against a collision or sudden braking. In 2011, 784 Missourians were killed in car crashes. 7 out of 10 people who were killed were not wearing seat belts. Many states, including Missouri, can ticket you for not wearing a seat belt, so don’t take any chances.

5. Create an Emergency Kit

Create an emergency kit in case you find yourself in some sort of trouble. It should include:

  • first aid materials

  • flashlight

  • jumper cables

  • flares

  • tools to change tire

  • cell phone car charger

6. Map Out your Destination

Even if you have a GPS, have a paper map just in case. Check for possible detours, and write out several routes. Also check for anything you might want to do on the way, like visiting a particular museum or amusement park.

7. Don’t be a Backseat Driver

Hearing critiques and suggestions can cause tension and an unpleasant atmosphere in the car. The driver should feel relaxed yet alert, so don’t bother him or her with unnecessary commentary.

8. Pack Snacks & Water

Keep your family’s morale up by packing snacks and enough water to last for a day or two. Even if you think you won’t consume it all, you’ll be glad you have extra if your car breaks down unexpectedly.

9. Switch Drivers

Always have someone who can take over when you are feeling tired. Switch off driving duties every few hours so the other can rest.

10. Be Aware of Weather

Check the forecast before venturing out. It may be perfectly sunny where you start yet storming two hours away. If you can, avoid inclement weather. If you do run into storms, pull over until it passes or drive slowly and very cautiously.

Once you’re on the road, your most important priority is being aware. Buckle up, look out for motorcycles, and watch for changes in the speed limit. Traffic violations can result in heavy fines and serious penalties. If you are in an accident or are ticketed for a violation on the road, be sure to call Daniel C. Miller, LLC. at (816) 875-0470.