Summer Road Trip Safety Tips

Planning a road trip? Here are six tips to help you and your family stay safe in the car this summer


 

It has been a long, cold winter but we’ve (finally) made it through. Now we are embracing all things sleeveless, short and sunny. Summer marks the start of school vacations and the always enjoyable, if not patience testing, season of the road trip!

Road trips with kids can be hard; keeping them entertained for long periods of time is always a challenge. But what should you do before you head out to make sure you and your family will be as safe as possible when on the road?

Get A Check-up

Before you head out on any long journey, it is a good idea to get your car checked out by a mechanic. Summer equals heat, and road trips equal lots of kilometers on your car; be sure to have all your major systems checked out to avoid any nasty surprises (flat tire, anyone?).

The most important things to have checked out?

  • Tires, steering and suspension
  • Brakes
  • Lights
  • Cooling system
  • Battery
  • Air conditioning
  • Engine drive belts

Manage Your Stress By Managing Your Kids!

Traveling with kids adds an extra layer of difficulty to what may already be a stressful time. Between the “Are we there yets?” and the bickering, the backseat becomes a bit of a war zone. Try to have pre-planned activities for your little ones to keep them busy, and to keep you mind focused on the road. Although it isn’t always ideal, a road trip is the perfect time to up your kids’ screen time allowance for your own piece of mind.

With the kids busy, happy and engaged, you will be able to give all your attention to the road and the cars around you.

Watch Out For Fatigue

You should be stopping every two hours to avoid becoming drowsy while driving. Stopping and stretching your legs allows the driver’s blood to circulate, which in turn, keeps the driver alert. When travelling with kids, you will most likely need to stop every two hours or so to let the kids stretch, go to the bathroom and generally just let off a bit of steam.

Make sure you build these stops into your travel time to avoid any additional “We’re going to be late” stress to your journey.

Buckle Up

The single most effective thing you can do to keep everyone safe in the car is buckling up. Ensure that all passengers are using their seatbelts at all times; for kids this may mean keeping toys, snacks and games within reach.

For children still in car seats or booster seats, make sure they are using a car seat that is not expired and that corresponds with their height and weight.

Be On The Defense

The Canadian Safety Council estimates that 85% of car accidents are preventable. Always obey signs and signals, including the posted speed limit. Never text or use a handheld device while driving and try not to take too many phone calls on your hands-free phone as well. Never drink and drive and be aware of the cars around you. Always remember, the best offense is a good defense.

Share The Road

Summer weather brings out more than just road trippers. Cyclists, motorcyclist, roller bladers, and pedestrians; there will be a lot more vulnerable road users on the streets. Be sure to be extra alert and on the lookout for bikes, walkers and motorcyclists. Remember to yield, even if they don’t have the right-of-way.

There will also be an increase in construction on the roads, so be sure to slow down and respect the speed limits when you are in construction zones. 

Need a little more help? Check out the Road Trip Essentials Checklist from Eveflo to get you ready for your trip!

 

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