I love a good road trip, however, finding yourself stranded or in a dangerous situation during one is not. So here is a list of road trip safety tips you can refer to before packing up the car and hitting the road.
Being that I am both a mechanic and law enforcement agent personal safety is an important topic to me, this list also addresses some tips for that as well. Especially, if you are a female alone or a group of girlfriends on the road.
1. Map out your trip ahead of time. Whether that is using a physical map, programming your GPS or printing out directions. Do this a few days ahead to get an understanding of what types of landscapes and areas you will be traveling through. IF you find an area to be undesirable or some place you would like to avoid you can have your alternate routes ready to go. On the flip side, if you decide to take that last minute side trip to the World’s Largest Ball of Twine you can do it with more confidence.
2. Make sure you pack all your electronic chargers – i.e. phone, tablet, GPS etc.
3. Inform someone who’s trustworthy where you will be, your destinations, and when you will be expected back.
4. Check the local weather to your destination where you will be traveling to and plan according. For example, carry chains for snowy conditions and a collapsable shovel.
5. Make sure you do a once over on your car – check the oil, tire pressure and be sure you have no leaks or strange sounds occurring before you leave.
6. Have an emergency kit packed – LED Flares, jumper cables or a portable battery pack, tire inflation in a can for any small air leak you may experience. Food, water and duct tape also come in handy for many emergencies.
7. Use extreme caution while driving on unfamiliar roads.
8. If you find yourself lost, pull over to a safe, well-lit (if possible) place, keeping all doors locked and windows rolled up.
9. In general, stay alert to your surroundings and take a moment to glance around for possible suspicious persons, vehicles, and/or situations.
10. Always park in well-lit areas.
11. If you find yourself in a situation where your vehicle is inoperable and you must leave it unattended, place or tape a note with information on which direction you would be traveling for assistance, your cell phone number, and phone number of next of kin. Most importantly, if you are getting into another vehicle write down the license plate number of their car and any distinguishing marks to help law enforcement locate you.
These are some suggestions to help make your traveling experience less stressful. If you have any specific questions please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org