Last week I was down in Cancun for the Gnational Gnomad Summit and we went on a quick road trip over to Playa del Carmen. The road trip quickly got a bit out of hand and it left me thinking about road trip safety tips.
I didn’t think much about going on this little road trip since it was just a day trip and we would be in the minibus less than 4 hours round trip. I get pretty motion sick, so as usual I sat in the front of the bus along with Mike from Mike’s Road Trip. As we were driving down the highway another minibus came flying through the median at full speed. Our driver reacted quickly and we avoided being hit other than by some debris flying around by the wreck. The out of control minibus did hit the car behind us, killing two passengers in the other car and himself. It was fairly traumatic, but we went on with our day.
Now that was a grim story, but since then I have been thinking a lot about the importance of car safety and road trips. AAA predicts that 49 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more during the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, with 89% of them traveling by car. Most Americans prefer road travel (versus flying) during key seasons and holidays. And for many, the November/December time period offers one last chance to squeeze in a road trip before the end of the year.
Road Trip Tips
Vehicle Safety – You may recall that last year I went to the Texas Truck Rodeo with SMDI (Steel Market Development Institute). While I was with them, I learned a ton about how many trucks and SUVs are made. So, the most important thing when it comes to taking a road trip in my opinion is to be in a safe vehicle. A safe vehicle is one that is made well and has a high safety rating. It is also important to make sure your car has tires with enough tread and a recent oil change.
Check the Weather – Last year, after Christmas we embarked on a 1700 mile road trip from Texas to Oregon. Unfortunately, all across the US the weather was awful. I spent a lot of time checking to see what the weather was like on various highways. That’s right, online you can check weather conditions for almost any road in the US. Simply google “weather road conditions” and the name of the road you want to check. We ended up driving the longest possible route, but we avoided all of the bad weather.
No Distractions – Everyone knows that one of the most dangerous things about being on the road these days is the distracted drivers. Last year the kids and I were on a short road trip to Bothell, Washington to see the newest McMenamins Hotel. The weather was bad and as we neared our destination traffic was stop and go on the interstate. Although rain was an issue, it wasn’t raining that bad. So, imagine my surprise when I got rear ended on the interstate. We were at a complete stop and the lady behind me just nailed us. It was obvious she was on her phone. If she had just been paying attention she would have seen that traffic had slowed down.
In Case of Emergency – It is always a good idea to be prepared for an emergency just in case. When my oldest was 2 we got stuck on a highway during a snow storm for hours. I was so glad we had blankets and food with us. It’s easy to create your own emergency kit for the car.
Create Your Own Emergency Kit
- Jumper Cables
- Emergency Food
- First Aid Kit
- Fully charged external battery
I hope these tips help and that you have a successful road trip.