In the last year, families have come to rely on each other more than ever, and most people have not been able to travel as much as they would have liked under ordinary circumstances. Still, as the U.S. begins to recover from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, travel opportunities will begin to come about once again.
Traveling with kids is often cheaper to do via car than it is via plane, and with the current national health climate, it is often safer, too. Therefore, the family road trip remains a backbone of the American vacation experience. Still, if you are planning a road trip in the coming months, you have to be aware that there are plenty of inconveniences that might arise. Start planning now if you want to have a full security plan in place when you do decide to hit the road.
When Planning a Road Trip, Vehicle Safety Comes First
Your car is going to be your workhorse during a road trip, and only a well-functioning vehicle will be a strong safeguard against the severe ramifications of a traffic accident. Therefore, always make sure your vehicle is in prime working order before you hit the road.
You should start getting your vehicle ready at least a few weeks before your date of departure.
- Ensure your car registration and insurance will remain active for the duration of the trip. Pay all your insurance premiums before travel begins. Keep your insurance cards and registration information in your vehicle.
- Always carry your driver’s license. Don’t attempt to drive if you have restrictions or suspensions on your privileges.
- Take your car for a comprehensive maintenance and safety check. During this service, your mechanic might change the oil, clean the engine, run a lighting check, rotate and balance your tires, check your suspension and more.
- If you need to replace any parts or buy new components for the vehicle, then do so before the trip. Saying I’ll wait until we get home might put you at a safety risk while traveling.
- Consider adding some extra security features to the car. For example, steering wheel bars might help you add extra protection on top of your normal security alarms. Always keep the system armed whenever you stop. After all, you will be traveling to places that you don’t visit every day, and you aren’t as familiar with the vehicle theft and safety risks present in those areas.
Your Kids’ Safety Is Your Priority
Of course, you have to get the car ready for a road trip, but at the end of the day it’s the people inside the car that matter much more to you than the vehicle. Travel poses numerous safety risks to families, and children are especially vulnerable to severe injury risks when car accidents occur. Therefore, always observe strict safety precautions when traveling with kids.
- The back seat is the place to be when it comes to small children. Never place a small child in the front seat. Most vehicle manufacturers recommend an age at which a child can begin riding up front. Some states set their own limits as well. In most cases, children under the age of 13 (and under certain weights or heights) cannot ride up front.
- Most states also enforce laws about what safety seats children need. Depending on your child’s age, weight and height they might need a booster seat, car seat or rear-facing seat. Only install these devices in your vehicle by following the proper guidelines. Proper installation makes sure that safety seats function correctly.
- When traveling with particularly small children, you can often place a variety of other safety devices in the vehicle. For example, a rear-facing mirror might help you keep a closer eye on the child.
- Seat belts remain mandatory in all situations.
- Never take your children out of their respective car seats while driving.
- Never let a child who doesn’t have a license drive the car.
- When exiting the vehicle, always take the child with you. Never leave a child in the vehicle unattended. Abduction risks, not to mention hot car death threats, might arise.
Plus, don’t forget to keep a few emergency essentials in your vehicle. These might include diapers, non-perishable food or a First Aid kit. In case of messy inconveniences, you’ll have a few resources at hand.
Remember Safety on the Road
As the person who is driving the car on the road trip, you are ultimately responsible for your family’s safety. Failing to follow the rules of the road will put you at a much higher risk of having an accident. Ultimately, that is a big risk to your child that you do not want to impose.
- Never speed. Obey all traffic signs and don’t make sudden maneuvers on the road.
- Do not use your cell phone or other mobile device while traveling.
- Take breaks regularly. If you feel tired, hungry or sick then you cannot concentrate on the road. Eat normally and sleep an appropriate amount of time throughout your trip.
- Of course, never consume alcohol or illicit substances at any time if you plan to drive.
Along with other safety precautions, your commitment to safe driving will keep you and your family secure during your road trips.
Also Read: Why is Car Insurance so Expensive?
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