Traveling to your summer vacation destination is filled with excitement…that is, unless you’re driving to your destination and you’re being held back by an incredibly long commute. Driving longer distances inevitably comes with greater risks, which means you’ll have to take some extra precautions to ensure that nothing gets in the way of your summertime getaway. Here are just a few tips to help you drive safely during each and every summer road trip.
Protect Your Eyes
Anyone who’s ever been caught driving directly toward the sun can attest to the fact that sunglasses are an absolute necessity for safe visibility in the summer. About 75% of U.S. adults wear Rx or plano sunglasses, so it’s definitely worthwhile to keep an extra pair of sunglasses in your vehicle at all times, especially if you’re embarking on a summer road trip and will inevitably be facing some harsh rays throughout the day and early evening.
Driving long hours during the summer can make for some major heat waves. The combination of direct sunlight and cramped quarters can create some seriously uncomfortable conditions. Make sure you keep your cool by staying hydrated and, ideally, ensuring that your car’s air conditioning is properly tuned up. Efficient HVAC systems require maintenance inspections twice a year, and Autotrader says that getting an air conditioner inspection before a big road trip could prevent some nearly unbearable conditions.
“Have you ever driven through, say, Arkansas on a muggy and buggy July afternoon? If you’re nodding your head, you know exactly how important your car’s air-conditioning system is to retaining your sanity during a summer road trip. Get it inspected before departure,” writes Christian Wardlaw.
Ditch the Distractions
Long drives can easily cause even the most experienced driver to go into a trance that’s like going on autopilot. It goes without saying that it’s essential to stay awake and alert when you’re in the driver’s seat, and if you feel as though you’re losing focus, ask someone else to take over or simply pull over at a rest stop to take a breather.
Digital devices are also notorious for causing distractions. In fact, at any given daylight moment across America, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving. Even if you need to use a digital navigation system, invest in a high quality GPS system that can be mounted on your dashboard instead of relying on your phone. It may seem like just a small change, but it can make a big difference when it comes to avoiding distractions and keeping your eyes on the road.
Invest in an Emergency Roadside Assistance Kit
If you don’t already have one, investing in an emergency roadside assistance kit can help to prevent some seriously and potentially dangerous situations. Even the most reliable vehicle could encounter a sudden issue and break down which is why it’s always best to be prepared during long road trips. If you don’t yet have an emergency roadside assistance kit, experts say the Internet may be your best resource. U.S. e-commerce revenue is about $423.3 billion and is steadily climbing, and there are countless kits with different contents available online.
“Search for such an item on the Internet and you’ll find a range of kits varying in price and content. At a minimum, experts recommend having first-aid supplies, a hazard triangle or warning flares for when your car is stuck at the side of the road, a can of tire sealant, jumper cables, a flashlight with fresh batteries and a pair of gloves. If you’re traveling off-road or in lightly populated areas, it is also wise to carry warm clothing, food and water,” writes Wardlaw.
Your summer vacation is just a road trip away, so keep these driving tips in mind to ensure that you arrive safely and can make the most of your summertime adventures.