We all expect roads to be busier than usual during the holidays. Everyone is busy getting their shopping done, and visiting family or friends. However, if you plan your travel ahead, and are aware of the risks of busy roads and inexperienced drivers hitting the highway, you can keep yourself and your family safe as well. Below you will find some tips on how to make sure you can deal with unexpected situations on the road.
Plan Your Route Carefully
If you are planning a road trip to one of your relatives’ home this winter, and you don’t know the route, you will need to start planning. There are different online route planners you can use, or if you are lucky enough to have a built in satnav in your car, you can have a look. However, if you travel with kids, you will have to make sure there are enough stops on the way, and everyone can stretch their legs every now and then. Schedule a lunch break and a short walk in a national park on the way, so you stay alert and kids are not getting bored.
Get Emergency Cover and Interstate Insurance
If you cross state borders while traveling during the holiday season, you need to make sure that you have adequate insurance. If your car happens to break down hundreds of miles from home, you want to know that it will be taken back to your home address after. Having an insurance can help you get on with your life after an accident. Before you start off, call your insurance company and find out more about the small prints of your agreement, and make sure that your payments are up to date, so you are covered for the trip.
Get Your Car Checked Up
It is important to get your steering, tracking, tires, and batteries checked at a minimum before going on a long distance trip. Get your brakes tested, so you don’t end up causing an accident out of your control. If you get stuck in snow, and your batteries are not working properly, you could spend hours in the cold car waiting for emergency services to turn. Remember that during winter months you are using your electrical outlets more, and your car needs more energy to start. You will also have your lights on longer, and use the heating to keep kids warm at the back.
Make Sure You are Up for The Trip
You need to feel fit and healthy before driving on the highway for hundreds of miles on the road. You need to ensure that your medication doesn’t affect your driving ability. Some hospitals don’t tell you about the side effects of drugs, causing serious injuries or death. Read more about Craig Swapp & Associates wrongful death cases and make sure you don’t compromise your safety and that of your family members.
Take an Emergency Kit and Entertainment
When planning your holiday travel with kids, you have to make sure that they are entertained and safe. If you want peace and quiet, install a double USB charging point at the back, and let them use their tablets or phones. In case things go wrong, have an emergency kit in the trunk, including sanitary products, disinfectants, bandaid, and antiseptic cream. Take some painkillers with you, as well as plenty of drinking water, blankets, canned and dried, food, and snacks for the children. In case there is a problem with the car or you are involved in an accident, the last thing you want is to deal with children complaining that they are hungry and cold. It could be a good idea to invest in a high quality car air freshener as well. It may not matter too much when you’re driving around your neighborhood for a few minutes. But the smell of your car can really impact your mood when your sitting in it for 5-6 hours at a time.
Look Out for Weather Forecast
It is important that you check the weather on the morning of your trip. Some roads on your route might be closed due to severe weather, or you might need special equipment to drive through. If there is a weather warning in the area, try to look for an alternative route that includes main highways, which are more likely to be cleared by the state department. If you need to drive through winding country roads, keep your phone charged and take a note of the local emergency services’ number.
Allow Extra Time
You need to allow extra time during the holidays. First, because there are a lot of inexperienced drivers on the road, and those who are not familiar with the given road. Second, you might be stuck in traffic due to an accident for hours. If you have a satellite navigation system in the car, check for the roadwork and accident updates, so you can avoid delays. If you travel with small children, you will need to stop more often, too.
Get a Camera
In case you are driving through busy towns and hit congested highways, it is a good idea to get a camera built in your car that records your driving as well as other drivers’ behavior. If there is an accident that is not your fault, having the recording of the events can help you prove your case, and save you a lot of money and hassle with your insurance company. Make sure that you have enough memory for the entire trip, and you can keep your camera charged through your car.
The last thing you want to do when your car breaks down or when you are involved in an accident is panic. Get prepared, stay calm, and make sure that the children are OK. If you are anxious and nervous, they will feel it and get stressed. Have the number of emergency recovery services ready, and keep your insurance company’s contact numbers handy.
Going on a road trip with kids is a challenging experience. You need to make sure that they are occupied, fed, and happy at the back, so you can focus on the road ahead. Driving during the holiday season can be even more taxing. Plan your route, check the weather, and take emergency supplies. Make sure that your car is ready for the trip, and you are covered for the entire distance.