Road trips are becoming the preferred method of transportation as summer is in full-swing and coronavirus (COVID-19) cases are on the uptick in certain states. By now, most Americans are experiencing quarantine fatigue and are adjusting their previous vacation plans in favor of road trips. As more people take their vacation on the road instead of the skys, there are several things you should do in order to stay safe. Since road trips require a lot of preparation and planning, we’ve compiled several road trip safety tips to incorporate into your pavement pounding vacation.
5 Tips for Staying Safe On a Road Trip
Ensure your vehicle is serviced prior to departure.
On a road trip, you will be driving a lot and you will be too distracted with other priorities to take care of your car. One thing you should do before the trip is ensure that your vehicle is up-to-date with oil changes, inspections, and repairs.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Do you remember the last time your tires were rotated?
- Are your tires in good condition with remaining tread?
- Do you have windshield wiper fluid?
- Do you need new windshield wipers?
- Do you need an oil change?
- Is it time for new brakes?
View Top Driver’s vehicle maintenance checklist.
Pack your vehicle with essential items in the event of an emergency.
- Spare tire or tire inflator and sealant
- Tire iron
- Seatbelt cutter & window breaker
- Emergency roadside kit (includes first-aid)
- Jumper cables
- Phone chargers
- Non-perishable snacks
- Bottled water
- Wet wipes
- Trash bag
- Surface sanitizing wipes
- Extra disposable face masks
- Disposable gloves
- Hand sanitizer with greater than 60 % ethanol or 70% isopropanol
Keep the interior comfortable.
If you plan on spending hours on the road every day, you will want to be as comfortable as possible. Bring music, tablemts, a few books, comfy shoes, pillows, blankets, and stationary. If your crew is committed to switching off the driving responsibilities periodically, then everyone else can rest in comfort.
Research & reserve lodging in advance.
You should definitely book all lodging prior to heading out. With certain states at varying levels of phases and operation, it is imperative that you research and book in advance so you aren’t turned away. Map your route and determine where all the stops along the way.
Determine fueling points.
A good rule of thumb is to not wait until you’re close to an empty gas tank. Plan to fill up when you’re down to around ¼ tank. Map your journey and plot which towns you should stop to refuel and take a break. Planning this in advance minimizes exposure to other people and eliminates unnecessary stops.
Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer after refueling.
Fuel pump handles are high-touch surfaces. Consider wearing protective gloves when fueling up, and also washing up or using hand sanitizer after. Be sure you know how to properly remove gloves to avoid contamination and wipe down your door handle and steering wheel when getting back into the vehicle.
Road Trip Safety this Summer Season
Cross-country road trips remain an important part of the American driving culture, despite current events. It is the best way to bounce between national sights while maintaining control over the itinerary. The driver can decide when to change routes, when to stop, where to stop, and have the option of avoiding large crowds altogether.
For more information on road trip safety and other safe driving tips read, ‘5 Safety Tips for Driving During the Coronavirus Pandemic’ or ’5 Driving Tips for New Drivers.’ Contact us with any questions or to sign up for an Illinois online driving course.