With miles of glimmering coastline, snow peaked mountains and some of (in my opinion at least) the world’s best cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles, California is a state that begs you to take a road trip. Growing up in the Bay Area I have many fond memories driving around the state with my family on summer vacations to places like Lake Tahoe and Cambria.
Now that I’ve moved back to my home state and live in Los Angeles, when my family come to visit we still like to squeeze in visits to as many of California’s hidden corners as possible. On my family’s most recent visit we got to explore Southern California in the Mazda3,which you can read about here.
If you haven’t given a California road trip a try, you must add it to your bucket list. But before you head out on that epic road trip, there’s some important safety measures you should take. Follow these tips for road trip safety and make sure you tune up, freshen up and look up to stay safe on the road.
Tune Up Your Vehicle
Road trip safety really begins before you even hit the road. The best advice for road safety is to have your car thoroughly checked before setting out on your trip. A licenced mechanic can go over your car from top to bottom to see if there are any issues that could cause you to break down on the road. Proper upkeep of your vehicle is of the prime importance. Imagine having your vehicle break down mid-road trip (on a dark road, in the rain). This would not only be a frightening scenario, but will also be a hinderance to your time and budget, and after all, the point of a road trip is to see new places, not waste time dealing with mechanical issues.
Freshen Up on the Rules of the Road
You can’t be a safe driver without knowing the rules of the road. For drivers who need a refresher on safety rules, you should check this site out. This is probably where you took your practice driving theory tests and one of the best places to find pertinent questions on road safety. Rules and regulations are made into laws because they are important in terms of driving safety, and these are the rules that could keep you alive in the moment if something should suddenly go wrong.
For example, do you know what to do if your vehicle is suddenly inoperable and you are in the middle of traffic? Or do you know what to do if you are struck by another car, especially with a male driver behind the wheel? Familiarize yourself with road rules and best practices for handling accidents before you head out.
Look Up Your Route
Although modern technology makes it easy to get where you want to go without much preparation, do yourself a favor and look up your route before you go, using the internet or even a good old fashioned map. After all, you never know when technology could fail (or you when you’ll fail to follow technology’s directions). Having a general sense of where your going will help you stay headed in the right direction.
If you feel that you are lost and that your GPS isn’t providing the directions you need, never look at that small screen on your mobile phone if you are on the road driving. Wait until you can find a place to safely exit the road and then check to see if the information you entered was correct. Whether you look at a hard copy map or utilise a GPS app, you should never do so while the vehicle is moving. More accidents happen in western nations because of inattentive / distracted driving than from any other cause including drunk driving.
Before you head out on your next epic road trip, make sure you tune up, freshen up (your knowledge of road rules ) and look up (directions). Have any other great travel tips for road trip safety? Let me know in the comments below.