Many college kids go on frequent road trips—whether on spring break, visiting family, or on an adventure with friends. But road trips can be dangerous without proper precautions, so we’ve compiled some helpful safety tips for your next long-distance adventure.
Get Your Car Ready
First, before you set out, you should ensure that your car is ready for the upcoming long-distance road trip. Get your vehicle comprehensively checked and serviced before the trip—get an oil change if necessary, check the air filter, and even consider rotating the tires if it’s been a while.
Just like you should get your body and mind ready for long-distance travel, your vehicle needs help to prepare for the rigors of the trip.
Don’t Forget About Tires
While servicing your vehicle, don’t forget about your car’s tires. Administer the penny test to ensure there’s enough tread on your tires to handle the rigors of the road, and check and correct the tire pressure before and during the road trip when you have the time.
We all know how hot Arkansas can get in the summer and even the spring, and those steaming blacktop roads can be brutal on your car’s tires, so you want to ensure they’re in peak form before setting out, or you risk a potential blowout.
Pack an Emergency Kit
Another important safety tip for your next road trip adventure is preparing for emergencies. When traveling long-distance, it’s always wise to pack an emergency kit of supplies should you get involved in an accident or breakdown. Include items such as:
- First aid kit
- Jumper cables
- Tire repair kit
- Non-perishable food & water
- Battery charger
- Any medicine you (or passengers) need daily
If your car breaks down halfway between home and your destination, you could be waiting hours or longer, so prepare for the worst-case scenario.
Drive Slowly & Defensively
When you have a long road trip, it can be tempting to drive faster and more aggressively to shave time off your trip. But speeding puts you and other drivers in peril as it takes longer to stop your vehicle and react to what’s happening on the road.
Driving over the speed limit also burns more fuel, which means more gas station stops and a more expensive trip. The few minutes you may save in speeding is undoubtedly not worth the dangers and downsides of speeding.
For young drivers especially, distractions can be a significant problem while driving on long-distance trips. If you have a co-pilot, put them in charge of things like navigation, snacks, and entertainment so you can focus on the road in front of you.
If you’re driving alone, consider getting a dashboard mount for your phone to check it without taking your eyes off the road and keep any potential distractions out of arm’s reach so you’re not tempted while driving. Remember these tips, and we’re sure you’ll make it to your destination safe and sound!