Planning a Road Trip? Remember 5 Important Road Trip Vehicle Safety Tips
There is no better way to experience the natural beauty of your country and spend time with friends & family members than by going on a road trip.
But when you’re on the planning end of a road trip, things can get stressful pretty quickly.
To make sure that your road trip runs smoothly, the first planning you need to do is all related to the object that will make your road trip possible: your vehicle.
There are many things you can do to make sure your vehicle is road trip ready, and we’ll be sharing our top tips.
From tie down straps to safe packing strategies—here are 5 important tips to remember when planning your journey.
Get Your Vehicle Serviced
Before you even think about taking a road trip, you should get your vehicle serviced at a licensed auto mechanic. A full service will ensure that your vehicle is in tip-top condition and road-trip-ready.
If you’ve recently serviced your vehicle, and have the papers to prove it, you can just perform a few safety checks to make sure your vehicle is road trip ready. Make sure to check:
- Your tires’ tread depth and pressure
- That your spark plugs are working
- The condition of your spare tire
- That your vehicle’s lights, indicators, horn and windscreen wiper blades are all working
- The nuts and bolts are all tightly fastened & secure, especially wheel fasteners
- That your braking system is working perfectly
- That your cooling, braking, motor oil, windscreen washer, and fuel levels are sufficient
Plan Your Route in Advance
Map out your route in advance and make a note of all of the gas stations, auto repair shops, and convenience stores along the road.
Make sure that you include stops along the way for bathroom breaks and snack top-ups.
On a more serious note, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings just in case you break down or are in an accident—the last situation you want to find yourself in is not knowing where your help will come from.
Invest in Tie Down Straps
Make your road trip as comfortable as possible by making sure everyone has enough legroom by using cargo tie-downs.
Not only are tie-down straps great for freeing up legroom by attaching bags and suitcases to the vehicle’s exterior, but they’re also a safe way to transport activity-related equipment.
Use tie-down straps as a cargo restraint method to make sure your surfboard, canoe, or kayak doesn’t come loose.
Tie-downs come in a variety of types with different hooks, lengths, tightening mechanisms, weight capacities, and even colors if aesthetics is a concern.
When packing for a road trip, it can be tempting to pack absolutely everything you own in the spirit of “you never know.”
Make sure to pack any important documentation you’ll need, such as your driver’s license, vehicle ownership paperwork, a copy of your vehicle insurance papers, identity documents, and passport if you’re traveling out of state.
Excluding your clothing and the items you’ll need for your trip make sure to pack the following:
- First aid kit
- Emergency triangle
- Spare tire
- Water bottle or travel mug
- Paper map
- Car-charger for your Smartphone
But it’s not all about WHAT you pack; it’s about HOW you pack.
Pack Your Vehicle Safely
It’s of the utmost importance to pack your vehicle safely. This is not just for the comfort of the passengers but for their safety too.
For example, never use the inside of the passenger area as a storage space for luggage because if you brake sharply, those items can have a force of more than 50 times their actual weight.
When packing your vehicle, make sure to:
- Pack the heaviest items at the bottom of the boot closest to the door for proper distribution of weight
- Avoid packing suitcases higher than the backseat
- Pack smaller items into a big box and strap this to your vehicle’s exterior using tie-down straps
- Avoid placing items such as laptops, cell phones, and books in places where they can turn into projectiles
- Make sure all seatbelt plugs can be easily accessed and aren’t obstructed by any loose items
- Avoid piling up luggage to such an extent that your rear window visibility is not obstructed
The key to success is rooted in proper planning. Keep our road trip vehicle tips in mind and enjoy your road trip free from stress.
Do you have any vehicle-related road trip tips of your own?
Share them with us in the comments section below so that others can learn from your experiences.