How to Stay Safe on a Road trip: 14 Safety Tips
Safety is always one of the biggest concerns while traveling, especially during road trips. Staying happy and healthy is a big factor when it comes to having a successful and memorable trip. Taking the right precautions, before and during your trip can keep you safe and further prevent potential dangers and unfortunate incidents.
To increase your safety while on a road trip, be sure to follow these 14 safety tips and tricks to keep you happy, safe, and sound during your journey.
HOW TO STAY SAFE ON A ROAD TRIP
Learn some car basics
Before setting off on your journey, learn the basics about automobile maintenance, just in case. Skills such as changing a tire, checking the oil, and topping off your fluids are helping procedures that can save you from being stranded on the side of the road in a strange area.
Have a loose route planned out
Having a loose route planned out or letting someone back home know of your plans ahead of time can keep you safe in case of unfortunate incidents. Keep in mind, destinations look a lot closer together on a map than they are in real life, so be sure to double-check your gas tank before long hauls.
Keep documents in a safe place
Keep important documents together in a safe place where they can be easily accessible in case of an emergency. Items such as title and registration, maps, insurance cards, roadside assistance, important phone numbers, and contact information should all be stored away for safekeeping.
Make sure to get enough sleep
Getting enough rest is crucial for staying safe while on the road. Driving while tired can be potentially dangerous and lead to accidents, as it’s very easy to lose focus and swat off the road. Studies have even shown that driving under the recommended amount of sleep, produces slower reaction times, similar to those driving while intoxicated. If you feel drowsy, pull over in a well lit area, recharge, and rest before getting back behind the wheel.
Have your set up ready
Before kicking the gears in drive, have your set up ready to go beforehand. Blue tooth speakers, GPS routes, or hand-free systems should all be applied before setting off; If you keep looking down at your phone, the longer your eyes are off the road, the more potential harm could be caused to yourself, as well as others.
Be aware of other drivers
Being aware of other drivers and surroundings is a practice that should always be done while driving, road trips or not. Not all drivers are paying attention and, following laws, especially large trucks. Do your best to stay away from sporadic drivers and be extra cautious while on highways.
Check the weather before hitting the road
Bad weather conditions can really put a damper on a good road trip. Being aware of the weather beforehand can help you to avoid potential dangers of flooding, ice, high winds, or other natural damages caused by severe weather conditions. If the change of ice or rain is high, wait it out. Some of the worst accidents can happen due to driving in bad weather conditions.
Be conscious of your surroundings
Be conscious of your surroundings while on the road, and use common sense at all times. If you find yourself lost or in strange and unsafe area, lock all the doors and windows, find a well-lit area and call for help. If you notice someone following you, don't pull over until you have notified emergency services and have gotten to a populated area. Using common sense can go a long way when paying attention to your surrounding while on the road.
Don’t let strangers know you are traveling
While making friends and meeting new people is one of the best things about traveling, not everyone out there has your best interests in mind. As friendly and harmless as someone may seem, you are making yourself a potential target letting them know you are a visitor and unfamiliar with the area. If people know you have a car, that’s even easier access to not only your, but your belongings as well. Use your judgment wisely when meeting people on the road and don’t let them know you are traveling, especially if you are solo.
Never carry too much cash at once
Never carry large amounts of cash on the road at one time. If someone happens to spot a big wad of notes in your purse or through a window, you are a potential target for theft and muggings. Keeping cash is important while on the road, but in moderate amounts.
Bring extra sanitary products
In today's society, be sure to bring extra sanitary products along with you on your journey. You can never have enough hand sanitizer, baby wipes, toilet paper, etc. Not only can can it help keep you healthy while on a road trip, it protects others as well by staying clean and sanitized wherever you go.
Take breaks frequently
Road trips aren’t meant to be done in one go around. Taking frequent breaks and stops while on a road trip can help keep you safe by allowing time to stretch, rest, and de-stress. Even a 15-minute break to walk around and stretch your legs can increase your motivation and provide you with the energy you were missing before.
Keep snacks & water in the vehicle
In case of car troubles, emergencies, or heavy traffic, it’s a good idea to keep some healthy snacks and water on hand while on a road trip. Accidents and incidents can happen at any time, and it may be difficult to get to a store or shop depending on where you are. Keeping drinks and snacks in the car will keep you happy, and healthy, and keep the hunger at bay.
Trust your gut
Mostly importantly while on the road, always trust your gut! Staying safe on a road trip has a lot to do with common sense and listening to your own instincts. If you feel unsafe or weary about a place or situation, leave. If something feels wrong or off, chances are it probably is.
I hope that you have enjoyed this list of safety tips and trips while on the road, and refer back to this list before setting off on your next adventure!
Road Trips > Beginners Guide > How to Stay Safe on a Road Trip
About the Author
Hi I'm Ali Sullivan. I have been traveling full time for the past 5 years and have been to over 30 countries on 4 different continents. During this time I worked overseas in multiple countries as well as online and transitioned fully to online work in 2020. Find me here on Instagram.