Tips for Keeping Your Family Safe on a Road Trip

Tips for Keeping Your Family Safe on a Road Trip

It’s easier to worry about having a problem on the road when you’re preparing to drive hundreds of miles in your car. If you’re planning a vacation with your family, here are some tips for keeping your family safe on a road trip so you can enjoy your destination.

Buckle Up Appropriately

First, you should make sure everyone uses their seatbelt as prescribed. Children should be in age-appropriate car seats that you correctly anchor into the car. Older kids should always keep their seatbelt on and not remove the diagonal shoulder bracing portion of the seatbelt. Having your kids buckle up prevents them from distracting you by getting out of their seats too. Whether you’re in the passenger or driver’s seat, you should keep a seatbelt on too— without one, you’re a hazard to everyone in the car in a collision.

Track Your Car’s Condition

It’s also important to have a sense of your car’s condition before and during your trip. Check to see if you’re all caught up with routine maintenance. You may want to change your oil or check the condition of your brakes several weeks in advance. During your road tripping, look over a couple of your car’s features when you stop for gas. Check for warning signs that your tire is at risk of going flat, double-check your oil level isn’t low, and listen for any unusual engine sounds that have developed. Keeping your eye out for these things will help you stop a problem before it starts.

Don’t Drive Distracted

There are few things more distracting than kids. When they’re in a car, an enclosed space, they become even more disruptive. To stop this, consider setting out early in the morning when they’ll want to sleep and having a movie ready for when they wake up. Also, don’t seat kids too close to each other if you can help it, and keep certain kids apart who often have conflict. When you are the driver, refrain from device use and rely on your spouse or other passengers for information.

Get Enough Sleep

Another tip for keeping your family safe on a road trip is to get plenty of sleep the night before a big drive. You may be stressed about packing everything for you and the kids, but you’re more important as an alert driver than the different outfits you may forget to pack. Set a deadline for going to sleep to get at least eight hours and do the rest of your packing in the morning if need be.

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Sue Baxter