Did you know that there are approximately 4,071,000 miles of roads in the United States alone? Additionally, of these roads there are still nearly 1,394,000 miles that are currently unpaved as of 2021.
With all of the roads accessible for travel throughout the United States, and with all of the drivers present on the roads today, it becomes a necessity to learn the art of safe travel.
Driving safely down the road to work is one thing, and though safety is something that you need to be mindful of at all times while driving, when it comes to taking a cross-country road trip, there are several things that you need to do in order to keep yourself and your family safe.
In this guide, we’ll explore a few essential safety measures that you should adhere to while taking your cross-country’s first road trip.
Service Your Vehicle First
Above all, the first thing you want to do is to get your vehicle inspected by a mechanic. Perhaps you need a tune-up or an oil change, or maybe it’s been a while since your last service. If this is the case, you’ll want to get all of this handled prior to getting out on the road.
The last thing you’ll want to happen when on a cross-country road trip is to find yourself broken down on the roadside. This isn’t a fun experience when you’re a mile from home, let alone 500 miles from home.
On that note, you’ll also want to ensure that you have roadside assistance or a towing allowance included in your auto insurance policy. If you don’t have it, compare quotes and purchase new auto insurance before getting out on the road.
Pack for Contingencies
Though many of us make it to our destinations unscathed, some motorists will have much more trouble than others when it comes to safe travels. And the fact is, anything can happen when out on the road.
In order to make your life easier in the event of a breakdown, or if you have to spend time waiting for help to arrive in a remote area, it’s always a best practice to have a few supplies on hand.
Packing extra snacks and food is always a good option. This not only satisfies any hunger cravings while you’re out on the road, but these can also serve as sustenance if you find yourself stranded.
Additionally, bring along an ice chest or have at least a few gallons of water on hand, especially if you’ll be traveling out in arid regions where natural water sources are scarce.
Here’s where the rules might get a little tricky. Be advised that every state has unique laws that govern the transportation of weapons in a vehicle. So if you plan on bringing along a firearm of any kind, ensure that you know the legal way of transporting these items across state lines.
In addition, other items for self-defense might include a taser, pepper spray, knives, and the like, and each state might also have laws for using these weapons and how to safely transport them through the state.
One useful suggestion, however, is to keep a safety bag with you in the car in the event that you need to flee your vehicle on foot. Though this might not be a common occurrence, situations arise where you might have to leave your vehicle behind.
Keep a small backpack with a change of clothes, blanket, food, water, and other survival equipment such as a signal mirror, flares, whistle, knife, and some cash.
Traveling long distances can be an overwhelming experience for a first-time traveler. And though this experience requires a sense of adventure and a bit of an intrepid spirit, you can travel safely from one place to another and return home without incident in most cases.
As long as you adhere to proper safety guidelines and good, old-fashioned common sense, you’ll be able to enjoy your cross-country experience without any worries.