The ongoing pandemic has changed a lot of our plans, including our vacations and trips, as we were advised to avoid non-essential travels for our own safety. Now that some of the restrictions are starting to ease up, planning that postponed and long-overdue road trip might be a good idea; considering, of course, that safety precautionary measures will be diligently observed.Any trip that requires long and multi-day driving comes with its risks, especially now that we are dealing with COVID-19 outbreak. Below are a few safety tips to keep in mind to make your road trip fun and worry-free.
Research and plan your route.
You may encounter temporary road closures along the way, so be prepared with alternate routes and contingency plans. When choosing a destination, take due diligence in doing your research. Keep in mind that you have a high chance of getting infected or infecting others if COVID-19 is spreading in your community or the place you are visiting. Find out if your destination requires visitors to quarantine themselves for 14 days upon arrival. Moreover, if you or someone you are traveling with has an underlying medical condition, it is best to postpone the trip to a date when it’s safer.
Pack the essentials.
In these times, the essentials include mostly products that will keep your hands and surfaces sanitized at all times. Make sure to pack hand sanitizer, disposable gloves, disinfecting wet wipes, sealable disposable plastic bags, and tissues. Bring plenty of extra masks as you will be needing them every time you are in indoor public spaces and outdoor spaces, especially in places and times when you can’t maintain a 6-foot distance from others.
Pack the right tools.
Aside from your hygiene kit, make sure that you bring the right auto tools in case of emergencies. At the very least, you should have a tire pressure checker, spare tire, and jack in your car. Your spare tire must also be in good shape, so make sure to check on that before your trip. Aside from these tools, you should also keep a fully stocked first-aid kit, working flashlight, towels, gloves, reflective triangles, jumper cables, poncho, and spare gas can in your car ready in case of any emergencies.
Inspect your car.
Days before your road trip, you should have been able to check on the following:Oil. Check your oil levels and see if it is already time to have your oil changed. Tires. Your tires should be in a road-worthy condition, that means that they are not damaged, cracked, bald, or worn down. Check the pressure of the tires and see if you need to add more pressure. Wipers. Check the condition of your wiper blades and the fluid levels. Replace your blades and add fluid if necessary. Brakes. If your brakes are sticky or squeaky, have them replaced before your trip.
Have your map ready, both online and offline.
It is easier to navigate the roads now that we have GPS. However, it is best to take screenshots and printouts of your map in case you lose signal or your phone dies along the way.
Do not drive tired or sleepy.
Drowsy driving can be as bad as drunk driving, as driving requires alertness. When you are yawning and your eyelids start to feel heavy, it is time to rest. Do not just rely on caffeine to stay alert. It may temporarily ease your sleepiness, but it can never substitute for rest. Switch drivers or pull off the road to find a place to sleep.
Avoid drunk and dangerous drivers.
You may be doing everything right to be safe on the road — wearing your seatbelt, following traffic laws, driving without distractions — but the sad truth is that there are motorists who are not doing the same. If you see a driver acting unsafely, the best course of action is to keep your distance. Also, do not engage in a road rage. If an aggressive driver comes at you, keep your distance and simply ignore them.Long drive or not, safety is the number one priority on the road. A road trip will definitely be more enjoyable and memorable if everyone is safe and healthy during the whole trip. With all the changes that the coronavirus outbreak has brought us, we should be even more particular with sanitation, health, and safety during our road trips.
This article written by Jonathan Rosenfled from Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers.