Don’t Make These 5 Mistakes Before Your Next Road Trip
With warmer weather on the horizon, you may be getting the itch to hit the road for some summer adventure. But before your foot hits the pedal, check to make sure you aren’t making any of these mistakes that can turn your road trip into a dead end.
Mistake #1 – Not carrying your license or having proper car insurance
In the event you are pulled over, you’ll have a much smoother conversation with law enforcement when you have these forms easily within reach. Remember, even if you are traveling across state lines, you are only obligated to carry the insurance that your home state requires. If you’re driving a rental car, you’ll want to make sure your insurance coverage transfers to the rental vehicle by checking with your insurance agent. In most cases it does, but if not, you’ll want to take out the insurance offered by the rental company.
Mistake #2 – Not getting enough sleep
According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleep deprivation can be equated to drunk driving. Not sleeping for 18 hours is equivalent to a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .05, while not sleeping for 24 hours is on par with a BAC of .10, which is over the legal limit. If you didn’t get a good night’s sleep the night before your trip, consider postponing your departure or find someone else to drive.
Mistake #3 – Not having your car inspected
Make sure your car is in top-notch shape with an oil change, tire rotation, and a multi-point inspection. Are your brakes making funny noises? Is your steering wheel misaligned? Did you run of out windshield wiper fluid? These problems all warrant a trip to your mechanic before any road trip can begin. You also want to make sure the tires on your vehicle are proper for the weather you are going to be facing.
Mistake #4 – Not researching your route
Spontaneity may sound fun, but it can come with consequences. It’s better to plan so you know what to expect. Find out where you can stop for gas, take rest stops and grab a good meal. Know where you could stay overnight if needed. Determine if there are any detours that may delay your trip or cause you to re-route. It is helpful to have a working GPS that can aid you in these decisions.
Mistake #5 – Not having emergency supplies
Despite the best-laid plans, expect the unexpected. Do you know what you would do if you were stranded on the side of the road? It’s best to pack an emergency kit of supplies that can keep you safe until help arrives. These may include warm blankets, flashlights, food and water, and a first aid kit. You also want to make sure your cell phone is fully charged so you can contact help and while you wait, turn on your hazard lights to alert other cars of your presence.
Avoiding these five simple mistakes can ensure you have a happy and safe adventure on the open road this summer.
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