It’s always made sense to exercise a bit of prudence before venturing out on the open road — and even more so in 2020, when we have a range of new health concerns to consider. If you’re planning any significant travel by road in 2020, adding these five safety points to your preparation checklist may well make life a lot easier down the line.
1. Review Your Car’s Road-readiness
Vehicles are far more reliable today than they were even a decade ago, but all that advice your dad told you about tire pressure and windshield wiper fluid still apply! And while you’re performing all that essential due diligence, it’s well worth making sure your car is equipped with a functioning set of jumper cables, a blanket, and a current first aid kit.
Are you looking for a quick refresher on all those car preparation essentials? The Department of Homeland Security offers this useful checklist along with a suggested emergency kit.
2. Check Your Insurance
Another simple item you can check off is to make sure your insurance is up-to-date and appropriate for your current vehicle usage and driver habits. At a basic level, you’ll want to make sure you have good comprehensive, and collision coverage for your car. But it can also be a smart move to be sure you have sufficient liability coverage to keep you and your family protected financially if the driver is at fault.
It’s also helpful to make sure you’re up to speed on the claims process. USAA, for example, offers a convenient suite of tools, including an online claims center and a mobile app. These tools make it much easier to process a claim and get back on the road if something goes wrong with your vehicle.
3. Have a Hygiene Plan Ready to Go
Whether you’re traveling across town or across the country, good hygiene on the open road never hurts. But in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has only sharpened the importance of having a plan for keeping you and your passengers safe.
Disposable gloves are your best friend for pumping gas or venturing into less than salubrious public restrooms. Keeping hand sanitizer, wet wipes, and sealable bags within close reach are also smart ideas.
4. Equip Yourself With Hands-Free Smartphone Tech
It’s important to remember that any kind of smartphone distraction while driving is dangerous. But 2019 research by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute suggests that hands-free driving is significantly safer than using handheld devices.
Invest in a reliable hands-free device for your smartphone, and make sure you know how to use it well before setting out. Better yet, make a deal with all your passengers that the driver’s seat is as much a distraction-free zone as possible.
5. Plan Your Route
Fatigue is one of the more dangerous aspects of driving long distances. Knowing your route and resting locations in advance is an excellent way of ensuring that you remain safe and alert throughout your travels. The U.S. Recreation.gov website offers this excellent road trip planner. Use it to define your route, set a safe distance to travel per day, and know where you can stop for the night. You’ll thank yourself later!
Checking off these quick and easy safety measures gives you and your family a better chance of smooth traveling out on the open road.
Larry Alton is a blogger and passionate writer at Managerteams.com. She loves cooking and is fond of travelling.