Summer Road Trip Tips
Once you’ve prepared your car for summer driving conditions, go through these simple common-sense steps and once all those boxes are ticked, you can throw away the list and enjoy your adventure:
Plan your route well, and get informed about any traffic delays before setting off;
Have emergency numbers at the ready;
Get the insurance appropriate to your trip;
Always have a well-stocked emergency and first-aid kit, flashlight, bottles of water for the radiator and basic tools in the trunk. For more advice, see California Office of Traffic Safety recommendations at http://www.ots.ca.gov/roadsideemergencykit.asp;
In the summer, be prepared for congestions, increased road construction work, as well as for a greater presence of inexperienced (teenage) drivers on the road;
Never leave kids or pets in the car, and make sure children cannot access your keys and that they understand the car is not for playing. It helps to bring plenty of amusement for the kids;
Make sure the child seat, if required, is installed and used properly;
Watch out for wild animals crossing the road, but also for young children who may be playing in the vicinity of cars parked by the road. In scenic surroundings in particular, be especially alert to bicyclists and motorcyclists who are harder to spot than cars and are more vulnerable;
Wear sunglasses as protection from the glare;
Wear loose fitting, comfortable clothes;
Remember to wear your safety belt;
Stay hydrated, use sunscreen, have snacks and half-frozen drinks at hand, but refrain from snacking or drinking while driving. While not illegal, this certainly distracts attention from the road. Pull over when it is safe to do so, and make it a proper break;
Rest as needed. Fatigue and distracted driving can kill. Take frequent 20-minute breaks every few hours, stretch and get some refreshments, or even have a short nap. If possible, share driving with other passengers.
As always, drive in accordance with the law and the conditions on the road, staying focused and adapting as appropriate. Above all, keep yourself and others safe, and enjoy getting there!