Going on a road trip is an exciting and educating American adventure. Ever since the advent of the car, drivers have always wanted to go to new places. In fact, road trips are often seen as a sort of rite of passage taken by young drivers as they become experienced enough to hit the open road alone. Road trips can definitely provide drivers with the experience of a lifetime, but if you are not careful to consider your safety while traversing the country you could run into disaster.
Road trip safety concerns many aspects of travel, from having a reliable car to being aware of one's surroundings when stopped. Many drivers feel safe in their cars, untouchable, but the reality is that drivers are just as vulnerable as any other type of traveler.
First, a driver preparing for a road trip must ensure that the car is running well and has had a tune-up. Having your car looked at before embarking on a long trip will detect any problems and could prevent you from having to wait on the side of the road for a tow truck, friend, or relative to come pick you up as well as help you control your out of pocket expenses while away.
After you know your car is in tip-top shape, make sure that you have some sort of map or navigation system handy. Depending on the nature of the road trip you may or may not have planned a route. Either way, it is important to have some sort of tool that will help you find your bearings should you become lost. A navigation system will also be able to tell you about nearby restaurants, shops, and attractions that may be of interest.
Once you have your car packed and your map or navigation system stowed within reach, you will want to make sure that you have remembered to bring along a few other things you may need. Other tools that should be brought along are:
- A spare tire. - A jack. - A small car tool kit. - Pepper spray or other personal protection device.
As you travel down the highway, remember that your car's performance is not the only safety concern. One major issue is your personal safety. To ensure that you do not become victim of any type of crime or other disaster, only stop in places that you feel comfortable. Gas stations and rest stops should be chosen that have an abundance of both light and people-- you never want to end up in a dark place with one or two people that you do not know and who could be a threat to you. You also need to make sure to spend the night in secure, safe hotels and not to compromise your safety for a cheap night's stay. Many well known hotel chains are geared toward safe travel at a reasonable rate and should be easy to find along the highway.
When you are preparing for your road trip, keep these suggestions in mind and you should be able to have an enjoyable, safe, educational experience. There really is no way to see the world like driving through it, and the ability to go on a road trip could be a once in a lifetime opportunity.