person driving on a road trip

Top 10 Road Trip Safety Tips

Ever wondered how to handle long drives on the open road? Before revving your engines for the journey ahead, let's talk about prepping your trusty vehicle for your road trip. As exhilarating as your journey might be, driving safely is essential for a grand adventure.

Our Top Road Safety Tips

  1. Prepare Your Vehicle
  2. Know Vehicle Maintenance Basics
  3. Keep Essentials Within Reach
  4. Plan Your Route
  5. Take Breaks
  6. Be Aware of the Weather
  7. Stay Informed About Road Conditions
  8. Practice Safe Parking
  9. Stay Connected
  10. Know Your Limits

Prepare Your Vehicle

If you're wondering about safety tips for long road trips, the key is to always start with prepping your vehicle.

You'll want to make sure your car is up to date with its service checks and perfectly roadworthy for the adventure ahead – traffic stops or run-ins with a police officer are a big bummer, especially over something avoidable! 

Your breaks, lights, signals, and wiper blades all need to be in order. Including jumper cables, a spare tire, extra fuel, windshield wiper fluid, emergency blankets, and a first aid kit in your list of road trip essentials is a wise idea. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!

Replacing a spare tire on a road trip

Know Vehicle Maintenance Basics

Picture this: you're cruising down the highway, wind in your hair, when suddenly, a rogue tire decides to bid adieu and roll off into the sunset. It's not exactly the kind of adventure you had in mind.

Avoid roadside mishaps by brushing up on your vehicle maintenance basics. Check that tire pressure, inspect the brakes, and top up the fluid levels. Why waste valuable vacation time waiting for roadside assistance, when you could avoid the problem with a few extra minutes of prep time.

Keep Essentials Within Reach

When you're ready to hit the road, convenience is key. That's why you should always keep your road trip essentials within arm's reach. Think water bottles, maps, cell phone chargers, and maybe even a trusty travel pillow for those impromptu nap sessions (in the passenger’s seat, of course).

Having snacks ready in a trusty cooler for a quick refuel at your rest stop is also a fundamental way to prepare the brain for action. No one likes digging around in the trunk and trying to  play tetris searching for the snack bag.

Cubix cooler box to keep road trip essentials within reach

Plan The Route

Sure, spontaneity has its charm, but a little planning can go a long way when it comes to road trips. Plot out your route in advance, marking rest stops, gas stations, and must-see attractions along the way. Not only does this ensure a smoother journey, but it also leaves room for delightful detours and unexpected discoveries – while still staying safe.

Planning for overnight rest during a road trip can be a breeze with these simple tips:

  • Consider making reservations in advance, especially if you have a specific destination in mind or if there's a big event nearby. This ensures you snag a room at a reasonable rate without the stress of last-minute searching.
  • Scout hotel locations along your route to save time and gas.
  • If you're more spontaneous and only want to book while en route, aim to call for reservations in the early to mid-afternoon to beat the rush and secure a spot before hotels start filling up in the evening.

Take Breaks

For ultimate road trip safety, don't forget to take regular breaks to stretch your legs, refuel your body with snacks, and soak in the scenic views. Your mind, body, and fellow passengers will thank you for it. Staying alert is the golden rule of road safety.

Long hours behind the wheel can take a toll on even the most seasoned road warriors and cause a serious case of drowsy driving. Extended periods in the car can cause blood circulation issues, so plan for a 30-minute break every 2 to 3 hours on the road.

Be Aware of the Weather

Mother Nature has a knack for throwing curveballs when you least expect it—rain, snow, hail, you name it. Stay one step ahead by keeping an eye on the weather forecast along your route. Pack accordingly, adjust your driving speed, and be prepared to stop if the weather is too extreme.

If you check the weather in advance, you can plan your stopovers accordingly to avoid the dangers of extreme weather – and keep the family cozy. When the sun is out, driving is smooth sailing, but do bring sunblock and shade the windows to avoid unwanted sunburn.

Rainy weather on a road trip]

Stay Informed About Road Conditions

From unexpected construction zones to traffic snarls that seem to stretch into eternity, navigating the open road can sometimes feel like a real-life game of Mario Kart. Stay ahead of the curve by staying informed about road conditions, traffic updates, and any potential detours that might throw a wrench in your plans. You can use navigation apps like Waze to let you know. Trust us, your sanity will thank you.

Practice Safe Parking

Ah, the art of parking—a skill that separates the rookies from the road trip royalty. When making pit stops along your journey, choose parking spots wisely. Opt for well-lit areas, lock your vehicles, and for the love of all things adventure, don't leave valuables lying around like breadcrumbs for opportunistic thieves. Also, never leave kids and pets in a hot car. It's a recipe for serious disaster.

When moving off from your parking, ensure you've checked every blind zone for animals, children playing, and other cars. Note that the bigger your vehicle is, the more blind zones you have.

Car parking on a road trip

Stay Connected

In this advanced age of smartphones and GPS, staying connected has never been easier (or more crucial). Keep your loved ones in the loop about your whereabouts, share your travel plans, and check in periodically to reassure them that you're alive, well, and living your best road trip life.

Know Your Limits

Last but certainly not least, know when to pump the brakes (figuratively, of course). Driving fatigue is no joke, and pushing yourself past your limits can spell disaster. Listen to your body, take breaks when needed, and don't be afraid to tag in a co-pilot to share the driving duties.

Couple navigating on a road trip

Final Thoughts

And there you have it—Cubix Outdoors' top 10 road trip driving safety tips to ensure smooth sailing (or should we say smooth driving?) on your next adventure. So buckle up, roll down those windows, and get ready to travel with peace of mind. Happy trails, fellow adventurers!