25 May Road Trip Safety Tips
With Memorial Day Weekend coming up, people all over the country will be traveling. Whether it be to the beach or to see family, the roads are going to be packed and people are getting ready for a family fun road trip. However, that also means it’s time to start thinking about the dangers of driving long distance and how you can get your family prepared. Don’t let your road trip become a wild ride by taking time to get yourself and your car ready. The following is a recent horror story that I experienced that I’d highly advise you’d never want to go through!
Recently, I drove from Massachusetts to North Carolina in a caravan of four vehicles that included a car, SUV, truck, and moving truck. If you don’t already know, the trip is about 11 hours long and takes you through major traffic areas such as outside of NYC, through New Jersey, and right around the Washington D.C. area. Needless to say, driving four cars including a large U-Haul through that is already a task in itself. However, car troubles can put a serious panic on the trip and can happen at any time, anywhere!
We had already timed the trip horribly by driving through the New York/New Jersey area at 4:30ish on a Friday, exact rush hour time. But to make matters worse the Ford Truck started having issues. Next thing we know, while crossing the Tappan Zee Bridge (a 3-mile long bridge with no shoulders or anything), the truck completely just dies and breaks down. My brother was driving the truck and seriously thought his life was in danger with people flying buy him and around him. Luckily enough my mom saw him on the side in time and pulled over in front of him.
After calling both 911 and a tow truck, two men came in a truck to push the Ford off of the bridge. At this time, the rest of my family was pulled over in a pull off at the end of the bridge waiting and somewhat panicking. We were lucky enough to have a tow truck come with a very nice driver who both found us a hotel and rushed to fix the truck (the alternator needed to be replaced) and have it done by 10 am the next morning. We were also lucky enough that nobody got hurt in the incident when in reality something bad could’ve really happened.
This story goes to show you how important it is to be prepared and ready for your next road trip! There are some important steps to take before taking on a long distance road trip with your family.
- Go for a tune-up! Coming from a knowing source, I can tell you right now that the most important thing to ensure that your trip goes smoothly is to get your car checked out beforehand by a mechanic to make certain it is running smoothly. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends that you have your tires, battery, belts, fluids, and air conditioner checked by a qualified mechanic. If you’re driving in a hot climate or towing a boat or trailer, you may need a motor oil with a higher viscosity.
- Get a good night’s sleep. According to the NHTSA, driving while is drowsy is the contributing factor in 100,000 accidents annually.
- Gear up for safety. It is recommended that you pack a safety kit that includes: water, warm blankets, a flashlight, jumper cables, flares, tools to change a tire, a fully charged cell phone, and a first-aid kit.
- Be sun smart. Prepare all of your family for the hot sun with sunscreen and sunglasses. Also, it’s wise to invest in shades for your windows to prevent the seats from getting too hot.
- Keep the weight down. Be sure to store all heavy items as low as possible and tied down as to prevent them from flying with any sudden or unexpected stop.
- Bring proof of auto insurance. The more miles you drive, the better your chances are of getting into an accident. That is why you need to make sure you have your proof of insurance with you.
For information on North Carolina auto insurance call Spivey Insurance Group today or visit our website. Make sure you have the coverage you need for your next big road trip, and always remember to be prepared so that your drive goes smoothly and is as relaxing and fun as possible.