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Safety Tips For Your Summer Road Trip

Safety Tips For Your Summer Road Trip

There’s nothing like the open road on a carefree summer day! Whether you’re heading to the next small town for a weekend away at a nearby National Park or hitting the road for a full tour of the US, you definitely want to stay safe on those long drives this (and any) time of year. Prep your ride and driver, and plan out your route with these tips in mind.

Summer Road Trip Safety

In Case of Emergency

Keep a stash of safety gear in your trunk just in case of emergencies. Bottled water (a couple of gallons or a case of individual bottles), battery cables and a first aid kit are the basics. Have a spare tire accessible (and check that it’s full!), and make sure you know how to change it if needed. Nonperishable food such as granola bars, blankets if you’re driving in winter weather, and a flashlight should also make it into the trunk. 

Insurance & Roadside Services

With circumstances being even more unpredictable lately, it wouldn’t hurt to consider adding a small travel insurance policy to your trip expenses. Depending on your own insurance coverage, travel insurance can often fill in the gaps while you’re away from home and your options are limited. Check your roadside service options, too, like AAA or Good Sam if you’re bringing an RV. 


By now, most of us are pretty used to using our phone’s GPS to get us where we need to go. Unfortunately, if you’re traveling far and wide, there are going to be a lot of areas with little to no service, making it easy to get lost in the middle of nowhere. Bring maps or have notes for landmarks, distances and roads to look out for so you’re prepared if your phone goes dead and directions aren’t easily accessible. 

On the Road

Your dad was right; you should always keep your tank at least a quarter full. Keep an eye out when refilling and try to only do so during the daytime. Always trust your instincts and be wary of strangers – if a situation feels off or you get a bad vibe, get back in the car and fill up somewhere else. It’s not worth saving a couple of bucks on gas. 

Get Behind the Wheel

Make sure your driver is well rested and alert, and stop for regular breaks along your route to stretch your legs. Be mindful of music volume and do not multitask while behind the wheel in an unfamiliar area. Figure out what you’ll be using for navigation (GPS, maps, etc.) and have someone in charge so the driver can keep their hands on the wheel. Lastly, let someone know where you’ll be going and when you plan to get there so they can start a search if needed. 

Maintenance Mode

It’s easy to let wanderlust get a hold of us for an impulsive trip, but if you’re not regularly keeping up with car maintenance, you could be headed for disaster. At the very minimum, check your fluid levels and tire pressure. Top off any low fluids or get an oil change if needed. If you are taking a rental car for your journey, be sure to double-check these things as well, just in case.

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Road Trip (©Averie Woodard)