How to plan a safe road trip
Thing's to do before going on a road trip
It's official Spring is here, and we’ve had some glorious hot days in Britain recently, which means you’re more than likely to be planning a road trip some time soon. I’m determined to plan a road trip to Cornwall this summer for a few days with friends. I’ve been searching for hotels, things to do and Instagrammable places to eat while I’m there.
But it occurred to me when it comes to road trips, the most important aspect of any trip is safety. Is your car up for the long journey? Does it need a new tyre? I’m not sure if you’ve been watching the news recently, but British roads are a major concern. They’re full of pot holes which have caused many cars including my Mom and Brother in laws to get a burst tyre and a broken spring. So, if you are planning a road trip, here’s a few car safety tips to consider first to ensure car problems don’t spoil your summertime fun!
Share the driving responsibilities
Who’s doing the driving? If your going on a long journey it’s ideal to have at least two people who can share the driving responsibilities. If there’s only one of you driving make sure you get plenty of sleep before starting the trip, make plenty of stops to stretch your legs, eat a proper meal and try not to fill up on caffeine to keep you awake the best option is to stop at a service station to have a power nap as although caffeine can keep you awake it can play havoc with your attention span, trust me I know – I relied on caffeine to keep me awake in university lecturers, but I couldn’t tell you what I learnt!
Fuel up on the healthy stuff
Nobody wants to be paying for overpriced junk food at service stations, either be prepared and pack plenty of food and drink in a chilled box or stop off at supermarkets along the way to purchase sandwiches and salad pots. Firstly, it’s a lot more affordable and secondly, it’ll save you money, so you can spend it on fun stuff once you’ve reached your destination!
Maintain your car regularly
Regardless of going on a road trip its always important to regularly maintain your car to ensure its safe enough to be on the road. When was the last time you had a vehicle servicing? Is your car due a MOT? Are you Wheel Alignment & Balancing up to standard? For peace of mind before undertaking long journeys it’s worth having your car checked over by a professional to prevent the possibility of having a breakdown during your trip. A MOT can be conveniently booked online with Ossett Tyre House in Wakefield.
Create the ultimate road trip playlist
A road trip wouldn’t be complete without singing along to the ultimate road trip classics, it’ll also make your trip go a lot faster and help you concentrate. But make sure you have your playlist down to a T because the last thing you want to do is take your eyes off the road to mess around with your device. Opening the windows and getting some fresh air in will certainly help you feel better too.
Check the weather forecast
If your travelling in the UK this is an obvious one, use the BBC weather app to keep your eye on the forecast, this will help you plan when to take a break as nobody likes to drive on the motorway when its torrential rain.
Keep your belongings safe
Make sure anything valuable is hidden away in the boot or in the glove compartment, if your popping to a convenience store to grab a few snacks even just for five minutes, there’s a chance somebody could get their mitts on your belongings, so always be cautious. The last thing you want is a stolen phone to spoil your trip.
Plan your route beforehand
Everyone knows its best not to rely on your GPS or Google Maps to get you to your destination, believe me my sister has some many stories of getting lost in the middle of nowhere at night with no street lamps, by herself! To avoid any unnecessary stress don’t jump in your car and input the postcode, check out the route a few days before so you have an idea of where your going, you may also find there’s some cool sightseeing spots you may want to visit along the way or even a restaurant that has rave reviews. Plus, it’s always best to have a good’ol fashioned paper map to hand or even have some Google map directions printed out. But be sure to have the Google Maps app to guide you around traffic jams and help you to find petrol stations, food stops and toilets etc.
Pack maintenance essentials
If your anything like me, you may have added your entire summer wardrobe and a vanity bag or two of beauty products to take on your trip. But more importantly to prevent any breakdowns or the need to pull over on the motorway, make sure you tick off a checklist of any essential fluids that may need to be topped up in your car such as windshield wiper fluid and brake fluid before you go, you may also find your tyres might need some air. Also, do you have your insurance details, essential contact numbers, jumper cables, a spare tyre and the necessary equipment to change it stored in the boot? It may also be worth checking out a YouTube video of how to change a car tyre before you go.
What not to do on your journey
It’s obvious but you’ll be surprised how obvious its not to some people. Always wear your seatbelt and ensure your passengers are wearing them too. Keep your hands off your mobile, firstly you don’t want to break the law and secondly so many fatal accidents occur because of this, it’s not worth the risk. Finally, don’t wait for your tank to be empty before filling up with petrol, its ideal to do it once you’ve got a quarter of a tank left at least.
Hopefully you’ll find this list helpful if your heading out on a long journey sometime soon.
Disclaimer: Sponsored post in colloboration with Ossett Tyre House. Photo and words are my own.