According to research, America recorded about 2.21 million road accidents in 2018, the highest number of crashes worldwide that year. Therefore, it is undoubtedly essential to be aware of the checks and safeguards designed to keep motorists and pedestrians safe as a driver. This way, you can prevent damage to your car, financial distress, severe injuries, and even death. Here are four essential road safety tips you should follow when going on a long drive.
Plan your route and rest stops in advance
Extended periods of uninterrupted driving have several risks you should be aware of when embarking on longer drives. You can readily become drowsy, which is as deadly as driving under the influence, for starters. Additionally, your vehicle experiences immense pressure on long, uninterrupted journeys, so malfunctions and wear and tear are more likely to occur. Consequently, plan your route and rest stops beforehand to break your long journey into shorter stints. You can select great routes with different fuel stations and rest stops along the way. Also, this planning can make you aware of some dangerous areas on your route. For instance, knowing the most dangerous intersections in San Diego is prudent if you are visiting the city anytime soon. This way, you can avoid these areas altogether or be more alert when passing through them.
Ensure your vehicle is fit for the trip
Your vehicle’s condition significantly affects your safety on the road. As such, it would help to ensure that your car is fit for the long trip before making it, so you don’t get into any accidents caused by easily detectable faults. These checks are even more essential for long trips, which are more demanding and will push your car to its performance limits. You can check your tires for wear and tear to ensure that they are in the best condition to carry you to and from your destination. Lights, brakes, wipers, and fluid levels are also worth checking before starting your long journey.
Obey the speed limit
You might be tempted to drive faster on a long trip to shorten your time spent on the road. However, trying to shorten your journey by a few minutes or an hour can end up causing more harm than good. As per the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), speeding is the number one causal factor in over 25% of fatal accidents annually. Speeding while driving is not ideal because it takes longer to slow your car down if you are going pretty fast, delaying your reaction time in dangerous situations. Therefore, always stick to the speed limit on long and short journeys to stay safe.
Bring an emergency kit along
It would be best to always have an emergency kit in your car to face unforeseen circumstances. However, you need a dedicated kit best suited to the demands of long drives. This kit should include spare clothes, blankets, water, a flashlight, and jumper cables. High visibility cones and jackets, a fully charged phone containing essential numbers, and tire-changing tools are also worth having to remain safe on your long journey.