If you want something different from your usual out-of-the-country vacation, summer is a great time to go on a road trip. The kids are free from school, the beaches are nice and warm, and the roads are clear. However, the hot weather comes with a host of problems. From car problems to road rage caused by the summer heat, there’s a lot that could go wrong on the road. Here’s how to keep your family safe and your head cool for your road trip.
Get Your Car Checked
While you may be confident that your car is in good shape, you can’t risk having your car break down in the open road. The heat could also bring a host of problems to your car. High temperatures can cause your battery to overheat and give out. And if your big problem last winter was defogging your car’s windows, you have to watch out for cracks on your windshield this summer.
High temperatures can cause the glass to expand, intensifying even the smallest chips and scratches. If you see any cracks on your car’s windshield, you may need to get your windshield replaced just to be sure. Send your car to a trusted service provider to find and fix possible problems before the big day.
Buy the Safety Essentials
Part of road safety is preparing for the worst. You should have a safety kit with you just in case you get lost, or your car suddenly breaks down. You should have energy bars, water, a blanket, a first aid kit, a seatbelt cutter, a whistle, and light sources like candles or flashlights. They also suggest keeping a roadmap in your car. Even though you have GPS on your phone, there’s no telling if you’ll have enough signal or battery power if you do get lost.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Even if you can go to work with just a few hours of sleep, you shouldn’t take the same risk when it comes to driving. Before going on your road trip, make sure you have a good night’s sleep. A study by the American Automobile Association (AAA) on drowsy driving says that missing just an hour of sleep can double your risk of getting into a car accident.
The researchers analyzed crash data from the country’s Department of Transportation to try to see if accidents had a link between the amount of sleep the drivers had. Drivers who are involved in crashes often have to report their sleep and nap times prior to the accident to investigators. The AAA found that drivers who contribute to crashes often had lower amounts of sleep. To avoid being drowsy on the wheel, get at least seven to eight hours of sleep, and take regular stops to either nap or caffeinate.
Summer road trips are no doubt one of the most fun activities you can do with your loved ones. As such, you should put as much time in planning out your roadside safety as much as your itinerary. Follow these tips and you’ll surely end the road trip with nothing but smiles.