The open road, the iconic route 66 taking in the breathtaking and awe inspiring scenery of America’s finest roads. There is nothing more romantic than a road trip, the wind in your hair, the open and deserted road stretching before you… somewhat delayed whilst you try and repair the left rear tire that just blew out! You may have thrown caution to the wind but taking precautions is definitely advised if you are planning a road trip on unfamiliar territory. Taking on a road trip for two months or just two days requires a certain level of planning; there are numerous ways in which your dream trip can end up as your worst nightmare.
Check your vehicle
In the run up to your departure, have a garage look over your car, make sure you have enough pressure in the tires and that oil and water are topped up. A mini-service will highlight any preventable mechanical failures. That could potentially save your life and that of others. Ask your mechanic for any advice about what to look out for with your vehicle when on a long trip. Ensure that you know what the warning lights on the dashboard actually mean.
Have to hand a recovery number that is reputable and covers the 24-hours. Check your policy carefully for any exclusions and pre-inform the company of your intended trip. You should also ensure you have some basic car maintenance knowledge, like changing a wheel or checking the tire pressure. It could save you the lengthy wait for a recovery specialist. Make sure you have basic food and provisions such as blankets and torches.
Did you know that in 2009 there were over 10 million accidents on America’s roads? Small things help, such as driving with all passengers wearing seatbelts and ensuring that the driver isn’t distracted by a cell phone or other in-car gadgets. In the event of an accident, can you administer some CPR or basic first aid?
Did you know that in some countries, like the UK, they drive on the other said of the road? That said, they and other countries have a lot of driving laws that differ with those in the US; they really should be researched before traveling. Research should include basic traffic courtesies and road signs to avoid any confrontations with local customs and law enforcement. Driving overseas can be exciting but it requires an experienced driver behind the wheel. If you are using your own car be certain that your insurance policy covers you when driving abroad. If you rent a car the hire company will arrange the insurance cover.
Accidents can happen, even to the most prepared driver. Before you set off, make sure you have the correct and valid insurances for you car and passengers. If you do have an accident, then you should consult an auto accidents lawyer immediately. It is important to follow the advice given below:
- If injuries are sustained, dial 911 and seek full medical attention.
- Never admit blame, either partially or fully.
- If safe to do so, take photos of the car or cars involved.
- Take the names and numbers of any witnesses and give them to police.