Your family has packed its bags, your gear is in the trunk and you’ve filled a cooler will all the best snacks. But being prepared for a family road trip is more than just what you bring with you – keep these five family road trip safety tips in mind the next time you’re planning a family trip:
1. Schedule a tune up.
Before you hit the road, perform a basic safety check by checking your vehicle’s tire pressure, wiper blades, fluid levels, lights and air conditioning. Scheduling regular maintenance for your vehicle is also important – not only will it help prevent breakdowns, but it can offer peace of mind the next time your family is ready for a road trip adventure.
2. Prepare for a roadside emergency.
A long stretch of highway can lead to the unexpected. If you experience a breakdown during your family trip, make sure you’re prepared to handle a roadside emergency. Have an emergency kit in your vehicle, as well as important phone numbers saved in your contact list. Include your insurance company in case you need to make a claim and check with your auto insurance carrier or car manufacturer to see if they offer on-demand roadside assistance.
3. Buckle up!
Safety first - always make sure you and your passengers are buckled up properly, including using child safety seats and booster seats when needed, and that they remain buckled in whenever the vehicle is moving. Children under 13 should always ride in the back seat of a vehicle. Never leave a child or pet unattended in a vehicle, and remember that if the weather is warm, a car can heat up quickly putting your child or pet in grave danger.
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4. Share the road.
Warm weather also means different types of vehicles are out on the roads. Remember when you’re driving to watch out for motorcycles and bicycles, too. While they have the same rights to the road as you do, their smaller size makes them much more vulnerable. Remember to allow extra following distance and check your surroundings carefully before turning.
5. Don't drive distracted.
Lead by example for your family – never drive distracted. In 2017 alone, 3,166 lost their lives to accidents related to distracted driving .
Unfortunately, a family road trip can increase the chances for distraction, so it’s extra important to take precautions and keep your eyes on the road. If you need to check your phone for any reason, pull over to a safe shoulder. Remind passengers of the importance of not distracting the driver while the driver is operating the vehicle. Take time to learn how to break common distracted driving habits.
This also goes for driving drowsy, which can be dangerous. Get a good night’s sleep before a road trip, and make sure to switch driving responsibilities with another driver, if possible, or to stop and rest every few hours.
Road trips are a wonderful way to spend time with family, explore the world and experience new things with those you love. Keep these safety tips in mind the next time you plan a family trip to help your travels run safely and smoothly.
This article is for informational and suggestion purposes only. If insurance policy coverage descriptions in this article conflict with the language in the policy, the language in the policy applies. Grange Insurance offers Roadside Assistance coverage in select states that can be accessed during a roadside emergency through its Grange Mobile app or a toll-free phone number. Talk to your local independent agent to learn more about Grange’s auto insurance and Roadside Assistance.
- Kelley Blue Book