Tips for preparing for a road trip

Planning a route, getting rest, finding entertainment, creating an emergency kit and examining the vehicle before a road trip may help everything go smoothly.

According to the Georgia Department of Transportation, there were 1,561 deaths caused by car crashes in a single year throughout the state. These accidents can be caused by a number of factors, including severe weather, vehicle malfunctions and driver distractions. Properly preparing before heading out on a long road trip may help reduce the number of fatalities on the roadways.

Plan your route

GPS devices make it easy for travelers to head out on the highway without really knowing where they are going. However, this can become problematic if the GPS device dies during the trip. Drivers can help ensure their trips are successful by preplanning their route. Planning where and when stops will be made is a great way to guarantee everyone gets a chance to stretch their legs, too.

Get some rest

Parents may find themselves staying up late the night before a big road trip to make sure the car is ready for their departure. However, driving without adequate amounts of sleep can be dangerous. Anyone who is going to be behind the wheel should try to get a full night's sleep for two consecutive days before the departure date.

Find entertainment

Drivers need to stay focused on the road, which is why adults should plan entertainment for any children who may be going along on the vacation. This could include books, movies, music or games. If there are no children going along, travelers may still want to pack books on tape and CDs to help keep everyone alert throughout the trip.

Put together an emergency kit

As people get ready for a road trip, it is a good idea to plan for the worst possible outcome. Creating an emergency kit with water, flashlights, first aid supplies, a phone charger compatible with the car, a paper map, nonperishable foods and blankets can help ensure everyone in the car will be comfortable should there be an unexpected breakdown. Drivers should also check that there is a spare tire and car jack in the vehicle, so they can change out a tire if needed.

Have the vehicle checked

Before any substantial drive, it is a good idea to inspect major components of the vehicle. For example, the driver should make sure the fuel tank is full before heading out on the road. An assessment of the car may also include the following:

  • Changing the oil
  • Replacing worn tires
  • Checking the brakes
  • Measuring fluid levels
  • Getting new windshield wipers

A diagnostic check might reduce the chances that something will go wrong with the vehicle during the trip.

Making smart preparations before a road trip may help make Georgia roads safer. If a collision does take place, working with a knowledgeable attorney can be beneficial.