Planning to do a road trip with your family, friends, or just solo? Travelling via road is sometimes the best and easiest way to get about. There’s no arriving at the airport two hours early, having to worry about luggage and security and all the in-betweens – there’s just you, the road, and maybe a pre-prepped playlist or two. That being said, it’s a good idea to take some time before you hit the road to consider some things about long-distance drives and your safety – as well as the safety of your passengers and others on the road.
Here are 6 things to think about before you get into your long-distance drive.
Lay out a road emergency preparedness beforehand
While – yes – the most interesting part of laying out a plan in advance for your road trip is where you want to go and where you want to stop, you’ll also want to have a moment just to consider those very real “what ifs.” What if one of your tires goes flat unexpectedly? What if someone in your car has a medical emergency? What if you get into a collision with another vehicle?
It can help to alleviate some of your worries by planning in advance. Your road emergency preparedness plan should constitute of:
- A general “route” including larger stops (like hotels, tourist spots, etc.) but also gas stations, convenience stores, and the like. This can help to ensure you are never stuck out in the middle of nowhere, unsure of where to go next.
- Have a general map on paper, just in case your GPS dies, or you lose signal.
- Leave some time in your plan for detours, construction, and unexpected stops.
Make sure your vehicle is up to snuff pre-trip
Nothing sucks more than having to turn around and end your trip before it even began because of a mechanical error. Take some time before you start off on your trip to do some inspections, such as checking your tire pressure, lights (headlights and brake lights especially) and your oil and other fluids. You may even want to make up an emergency car kit, constituting of spare batteries, jumper cables, an additional tire with a car jack and lug wrench, wheel wedges, work gloves, etc. You may also want to get an additional set of blankets, just in case you break down in the middle of the night or when the weather isn’t so favourable.
Give your insurance broker a call before you leave
Your insurance provider should know if you are planning to make a trip – especially if this trip is going to take you out of the province, or even out of the country. Your insurance provider can let you know if you have the right coverage or if you will be required to purchase a rider or endorsement to maintain coverage during the period you are away from home and your regular routine/commute.
A broker can give you personal advice as to what is best suited to you scenario and may recommend additional car insurance coverage to make sure you have the best protection you deserve. Panda7 can help you get car insurance to cover you during your long-distance driving trip, and every other day of the year. Apply for a quote today with us to see how easy getting auto insurance can be!
Ensure there are some car-safe activities planned
Sure, the road trip is all about the “getting to” the places that you want to be – i.e, all the sights, the fun shops, the cool hikes, and restaurants, etc., but you’ll probably be spending a good amount of time inside your vehicle as well. The best way to stay sane? Plan some car-safe activities.
Games can be anything from your casual I Spy to listening to a podcast of your shared interests together. You may even enlist one of your “crew” to make up a playlist of all your favourite songs to listen to, or perhaps share some fun anecdotes.
Remember to stay hydrated and alert
Did you know that driving fatigued can be just as dangerous as driving under the influence? That’s right. Ensure you’re at the top of your driving game by taking regular breaks – like every two hours or even less – and set an alarm on your phone to remember to hydrate frequently.
If you are driving with passengers, plan to swap out drivers every now and again – or whenever the current driver needs a break. If possible, plan beforehand for “shifts.”
Make sure that you have enough sleep the night before! You may even want to make sure you’re stocked up on quality, healthy snacks, like trail mix, a protein bar, or fruit.
Road trips are a great way to explore the scene surrounding where you would ordinarily roam – and further! A long-distance drive may take some planning, but it can be great fun and help jolt you out of your typical routine.
Panda7 hopes that you stay safe while out and about and that you make the right decisions while on the road! If you would like to discuss how your insurance may be impacted by a long-distance drive, give us a call today or apply for a car insurance quote with us whenever works for you.