Tips for safe driving on long road trips

With longer days, warmer weather and several longer holiday weekends, summer is a popular time to embark on extended road trips. Whether you choose to visit family across Pennsylvania or go on a cross-country adventure, road trips are a great way to enjoy some time away from your daily routine.

However, summer also brings more drivers out on the roads, increasing the chances of accidents. To enhance the safety of you, your passengers and all those sharing the roads with you, consider the following safety tips before embarking on your next road trip.

Make sure your vehicle is properly serviced

When you drive every day to take the kids to school, get to work or run daily errands, it can be easy to forget that your vehicle may need some additional maintenance before heading out on a longer trip. Schedule an appointment to ensure your vehicle is in good shape, including by checking:

  • The oil level and battery of your vehicle
  • Your tire pressure and rotation
  • Wiper blades and fluid levels
  • Your headlights, brake lights, turn signals and more

Additionally, check to make sure you have key emergency parts, including a spare tire, flashlight, first aid kit, cell phone charger and more.

Get a good night’s sleep before driving

Drowsy driving is a growing risk. Especially before days where you know you may be staring at the same highway for hours on end, make sure you get a full night’s rest. If you do find yourself constantly yawning or being unable to recall the last several miles, consider switching drivers or safely pulling over for a few minutes.

Plan your route in advance

The AAA recommends mapping out your route in advance to plan for busy roads and more efficient navigation. If you do plan to use a navigation system in your vehicle to guide you, also consider bringing a map or atlas to guide you in the event of losing service at some point.

Avoid driving for long stretches at night

Driving continuously at night can increase the risks of drowsy driving and tire your vision. If you must travel at night, consider periodically switching drivers and consistently glancing at the shoulder of the road rather than directly at the bright headlights of other cars.

Long distance road trips can be fun but tedious at times. Drive defensively and avoid distractions to reach your destination safely.