Several young people in winter coats and hats preparing for a road trip

Road Trip Safety Tips

Whether you're a seasoned road trip traveler who plans weeks in advance or you've just decided to take an impromptu road trip, our trip advice can help you prepare for a worry-free adventure.

Before You Go

  • Prep your car’s major systems for the road trip. If needed, schedule a tune up, oil change and air conditioner checkup.
  • Check tire tread and pressure. Be sure to follow the tire manufacturer’s recommendations for inflation, especially if you’re hauling or carrying a heavy load. Make sure you have a spare tire that’s in tip-top shape.
  • Check wiper blades for wear. If needed, replace them prior to road tripping.
  • Check exterior lights. Replace any burned-out bulbs.
  • Check your driver license, registration and vehicle inspection dates. Renew them if needed before the road trip.
  • Plan your route. Map out your route before you go, including rest stops and hotels. Book hotel reservations in advance and confirm if they have a late check-in in case you get delayed. If you’re relying on your car or phone’s GPS, have a backup in place such as a roadmap or printed directions.
  • Always keep roadside emergency supplies in your vehicle, not just when preparing for road trip travel. Reflectors, flares, a flashlight, a reflective vest, a first-aid kit and bottled water can help keep you safer in the event of a breakdown.
  • Pack carefully. If you take medication, make sure you pack enough to last your trip, and keep the phone numbers of your pharmacy, physician and insurance company handy. To optimize space, consider using a car-top carrier. Make sure your luggage doesn’t block your vision. In the event of an accident, objects such as suitcases can become projectiles.
  • But don’t over pack. Traveling can be stressful enough without having to worry about keeping your valuables secure. When making a pit stop or spending the night in a hotel, keep your valuables with you or hidden from potential thieves.
  • Keep your home safe. Review our home maintenance and security checklist before you go.
  • Bring an extra set of keys. Just in case.
  • If you’re road tripping alone, always let someone know where you are. Inform a friend or relative of when you’re leaving and returning home. Stay on the grid by calling or texting them with your whereabouts, or by sharing your location through your smart phone.
  • Get a good night’s sleep before you go. This is one of our most valuable trip tips. According to the NHTSA, 91,000 motor vehicle crashes involved driver fatigue in 2017. Only drive when you’re well rested, and, if possible, switch off with another adult driver or take a quick pit stop every couple of hours.
  • Notify credit card companies that you will be traveling. Some credit card companies will block your card if they notice suspicious activity. Alert them prior to the road trip so that your credit doesn’t get cut off in an unfamiliar place.

On the Road

  • Stay alert behind the wheel. Avoid distracted driving, which includes anything that diverts your attention from driving safely, such as texting, eating or fiddling with the radio or GPS.
  • Don’t pick up a stranger or stop for someone on the side of the ride. If someone is stranded, instead of stopping to assist them, call 911.
  • Do not bring a lot of cash on the road trip. Carry as little money as possible, and do not expose the amount you have to anyone along your travels.

When Road Tripping with Children and Pets

  • Make sure you have the proper car seat for your child’s size and age, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) if he or she is not big enough to fit in a seatbelt properly. To ensure your car seat has been properly installed, enter your location on the NHTSA website to find a car seat inspection station near you, free of charge in most cases.
  • Remind your children not to talk to strangers. Keep kids and pets within view during pit stops and after you’ve reached your destination.
  • Banish backseat boredom and bickering and minimize distracted driving with these 9 parenting secrets for the perfect road trip.
  • Never leave children or pets alone in the car. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, when it’s in the low 80s outside, the inside of a car can reach deadly temperatures in just 10 minutes, even with the windows cracked two inches.

Check Your Insurance Coverage

  • It’s time to get an auto insurance tune-up, now that you’ve read our best road trip tips.Talk to your professional insurance agent to make sure your coverage is up to date. If you should break down or get into a fender-bender, you don’t want any surprises about what your insurance policy covers. Have a safe and fun trip!

Call 855-993-4470, get your free quote online, or find a local agent. Feel free to Contact Us if you have questions about insurance coverage.