Summer time is road trip season! Many things that can go wrong when traveling by car far from home. However, most emergencies can be averted or minimized with a little careful planning beforehand. The importance of planning for road trip emergencies becomes more crucial when you know that you are going to have your children with you. Here are some family road trip safety tips to keep you safe on the road with your family this summer.
Pack an Emergency Kit
This may seem like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised by how many people either do not have a kit or have a kit that is has not been updated. Items you should include in your vehicle emergency kit include:
- Water for all members of the family and any pets that may be traveling with you
- Warm blankets
- Old towels
- First aid supplies
- Cell phone charger
- Jumper cables
- Multi-tool device or small tool kit
One of the most common causes of accidents is distracted driving. You can lessen or avoid distractions by:
- Getting a good night’s sleep.
- Making sure your seat is upright. Slouching contributes to drowsiness.
- Putting cellphones on Bluetooth or put them away entirely. If you plan to use the cellphone, pull over and park in a safe area.
- Making sure kids have plenty of entertainment. Keeping them busy with a small handheld device or playing their favorite music could keep them from distracting you while you drive.
- Allowing the person in the passenger seat to deal with the radio, phone, children, pet, etc. If you are behind the wheel, your job is to drive.
Make Sure Everything Is Properly Secured
Make sure that heavier luggage is stored deep in the bottom of the vehicle and that other items are properly secured. Anything that is not secured can become a projectile, even during a routine stop.
Child Proofing Your Ride
Even if your child is entertained with a toy or electronic device, they can still get into trouble. Here are some suggestions for keeping your child safe in the car.
- 8 out of 10 child safety seats are not properly installed. Call 866-SEAT-CHECK or look here to find the nearest location where you can have your child’s safety seat inspected for free.
- Inspect the seat for coins stuck in the seat, knobs or dials that may become loose or anything else that a child could put into a mouth and choke on.
- Make sure to set aside time every two hours or so for stretching legs and “potty breaks.”
- Don’t forget to pack the sunscreen and plenty of fluids.
Family road trip safety tips are for more than just keeping your children safe. If you are taking your pet with you on vacation, make sure he is secured in a travel crate large enough to sit, stand, lay down and turn around. Make sure he has plenty of food and water and ample opportunity for exercise. Of course, don’t forget his leash, and most importantly, NEVER EVER leave your pet alone in a parked car.
A little planning before your summer road trip will ensure that your family stays safe while you are traveling. Following these family road trip safety tips will help make sure that your trip is a good one.