Road Trip Tips for Any Destination
Road trips are glorified in this country to say the least. But while road tripping is fun, it’s not all smooth sailing. Most drivers encounter a bevy of unpredictable situations while out on the open road. Fortunately, you can take a number of measures to steer clear of travel problems and reach your destination with your wits still intact.
Stats of the road
Before getting into safety tips, here’s a look at some stats every driver should know before putting the pedal to the metal.
- Most people take road trips around Thanksgiving: According to AAA, more than 46.3 million Americans were expected to travel home for Thanksgiving in 2014. Additionally, 89 percent of those people drove instead of taking a plane.
- Teen car crashes peak in the summer: AAA stated that teenagers are most likely to get into accidents during the months of June, July and August.
- Distracted driving is the cause of 1 in 5 crashes: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics show that in 2011, 17 percent of all crashes in which a person was injured was a result of distracted driving. The CDC defines distracted driving as taking eyes off the road, hands off the wheel and mind off of driving.
- Texting while driving is only part of the problem: As the AT&T initiative goes, “It can wait.” The campaign strives to end the use of cell phones while driving, including the staggering 4 in 10 people using social networks while driving. Among them, 27 percent use Facebook, 14 percent use Twitter, 14 percent use Instagram and 11 percent use Snapchat.
Tips for road-trippers
These harrowing facts underscore the importance of being a safe driver. Try to travel when the roads are less congested to reduce your risk of problems.
“About 4 in 10 people use social networks while driving.”
Keep your cell in the glove compartment and have a passenger help read directions if your mobile device is a crutch. Here are a gaggle of other tips to boost your vacation on wheels.
- Revisit your insurance policy: Before you depart, review your insurance information. If you’re lacking collision and other safety nets, now is as good a time as ever to invest in them. Visit compare.com to find the right insurance provider for you.
- Keep it clean: No one likes to live in filth, especially if your vacation home happens to be a car. Prior to starting your journey, organize and wash your vehicle. Throw out any trash or old papers that no longer serve a purpose. Once you’re en route, you’d be surprised how fast garbage accumulates.
- Download apps, but get an atlas too: Stuck in traffic? There’s an app for that. Don’t know where to buy the best coffee in town? There’s an app for that. You get the gist. Download apps like Waze and SCOUT to make your life a little easier. However, don’t leave your fate in your smartphone’s hands. Buy a map and atlas too in case of technological difficulty.
- Take regular breaks: Put less pressure on yourself to see everything in a designated time frame. You’ll likely have greater satisfaction with your trek across the U.S. if you remain well-rested, well-fed and stree-free.
- Do your research: The road is full of surprises, many of which are unwelcome. That’s why you should plan every inch of your trip from gas expenses to city attractions. Running out of money or gas will poke a hole in anyone’s good time.
- Enjoy it while it lasts: Anyone who’s ever taken a road trip or journey of sorts will tell you that time flies by. Take as many pictures as possible. Laugh when the unexpected happens. Road trips are meant to be enjoyed.