Tips for A Great Safe Road Trip

Whether you are traveling by car, motorcycle or bicycle, getting there safely is the most important thing. Safety while traveling is easy to do but could just save your life. The following tips can increase your safety while traveling.

Travel Safe for a Great Car Trip

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There are several things that will increase your safety as a car driver. Always wear your seatbelt correctly. This little thing is the first and best line of defense you have. The belt is designed to hold your body snuggly in your seat in the event of a violent crash. It will prevent you from hitting the hard inner surfaces of your car or flying out of the window. If you are traveling with children, be sure that they buckle up! Over 70 percent of fatalities involving children under 15 were not wearing seat belts.

Don't tailgate. You should be no closer than the 'three second' rule dictates. Pick an object such as a road marker on the side of the road. Count out three seconds. If you pass the object before you count to three very slowly, you are traveling too closely. If the car ahead of you stops suddenly or swerves, you will not be able to react in time. In bad weather travel six to nine seconds behind.

How the 3-second rule works

The 3-second rule is a simple way to double-check that you are driving at a safe following distance. Choose a fixed point that is even with the car in front of you. For example, a road sign or a building. If you reach that same fixed point before you can count to three, then you are driving too close to the car in front of you and you need to fall back a bit.

The 3-Second Rule allows for a safe following distance when the road is dry and straight.

If the road is wet, icy, curvy, or visibility is limited, then you need to increase your following distance. When the road is slick, you need to have more room to stop and you also need to be prepared in case the vehicle in front of you skids or suddenly stops.

Ultimately, every driver must be aware of their surroundings and create enough room in case something goes wrong. When on a street with many side roads, you need to anticipate the driver in front of you making a turn. When you approach an intersection, always be prepared for the car in front of you to make a quick stop in case the light turns yellow. When driving around a sharp turn, leave enough room for the vehicle in front of you to break a bit to handle the turn.

Always travel with a small medical kit (auto first aid kit), at least a gallon of water and a blanket. If caught in the cold, a blanket can quite literally be a lifesaver. If your car overheats, a gallon of water may get you to the next gas station. Carry drinkable water as you, yourself, may need it.

Safety for Other Road Users

Motorcyclists should always wear the proper protective clothing. Ride at a rate of speed that is safe for the road and the weather. Carry water on long summertime trips. It is very easy to dehydrate while on a motorcycle. If your motorcycle has saddlebags, a small roadside kit including flat repair is wise.

Cyclists are the most vulnerable road users. Your slower speed and small profile combine to make you harder to see than other travelers. If you are traveling on the road, be sure to fit your bike with reflectors and bright head lights and tail lights. Check them before each trip. On long trips it may be wise to carry back up batteries. Never underestimate your need for water. Long distance riders are advised to ride with a partner or to carry a fully charged cell phone.

Drive Safely, Put Down the Phone

Most American states have banned the use of cell phones while driving. Nearly 3,000 people per year are killed by people who insist on texting or talking on the phone while driving. Too many people believe that they can handle these two things at once safely. This cannot be further from the truth. A twenty year old driver who is talking on a cell reacts to threats at the same rate as a 70 year old. Texting is worse. Someone who is texting behind the wheel reacts 20 percent slower than someone who does not.

Wake Up Behind the Wheel

A sleepy driver may as well be a drunk driver. Simply by being drowsy, response time is slowed by seconds. Some 20 percent of highway accidents are caused by drowsy driving. Always get a good night's sleep before a long trip. Pull off in a safe place and nap, if needed.

Never Drink and Drive

Over 30 percent of all fatal accidents involve a drunken driver. Even after just a few drinks, your ability to drive a car is severely limited. In the USA alone, nearly 12,000 people are killed by people who get behind the wheel of a vehicle while drunk.

At lower levels, alcohol just slows the body's reaction while removing normal inhibitions. This can make a normally safe driver act recklessly while they are unable to control their car well. At higher levels, a drunken person cannot see straight. They may see double images or a blurry environment. They may also pass out while driving their vehicle.

Avoid jail time or worse, causing death and injury. Don't drink and drink.

Road safety is something that benefits everyone. These easy to follow rules help everyone get home safe.

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