Helpful Tips to Keep in Mind When Traveling by Car on Unfamiliar Roads

Posted by: admin April 14th, 2020

Going on a road trip is an exciting venture, no matter how far you travel. When traveling by car, it is critical to keep you and your passengers safe. While going on road trip adventures can be fun—satisfying your desire for adventure—things can get dangerous if you don’t have the right safety precautions in mind while navigating unfamiliar territory.

Plan Your Route Ahead of Time

It’s easy to become solely reliant on your smartphone or other navigation system when traveling by car. However, many people have run into trouble when maps on these devices are out of date, or their internet connection is down. According to Roadtrippers, you should be sure to do your research ahead of time by planning which routes to take. Have a reliable idea of where you are heading and important stops along the way, such as gas stations.

Travel During the Day

Travel during the day as much as possible. While many major roads and freeways are well lit, others are not. This is especially the case on mountain or country roads. Furthermore, it can be difficult to stay alert during late hours, especially when it is dark, the roads are empty, and you have been driving all day and it is easy to become fatigued.

According to Bruscato Law, fatigued driving occurs when a driver has become so tired that they are not aware of their surroundings. While it is easy to think that sleepiness won’t affect you, it is always better not to risk being mistaken.

Don’t Rely on GPS Alone

Don’t rely solely on your GPS or other navigation device. While technology can be very helpful, it isn’t always the most reliable; and if you are having to navigate unfamiliar roads, it is best not to risk getting lost, especially in cold weather, hot deserts, or other potentially dangerous areas. It may even be a good idea to print some basic directions before you leave or break out your old-fashioned, paper map, just in case.

Be Prepared for the Worst

Nobody likes having to think about the worst that could happen. After all, it’s your vacation, right? Nevertheless, being prepared is always a good idea. Some basic items that all travelers should keep in their car for emergencies include a first aid kit, snacks and water bottles, emergency flares, warm clothes and an emergency blanket, a tool kit, jumper cables, and a spare tire.

Other items most people neglect to put in the car (but can be true lifesavers) include gloves for sanitation or car repairs, paper towels if repairs get messy, a collapsible shovel, duct tape (good for everything), and a weather radio.

Plan for Road Conditions

Not only should you plan adequately for potential emergencies, but according to Driversed.com, you should plan for road conditions as well. If you are driving through slushy or dusty roads, bring extra windshield fluid. If you will be driving through snowy conditions, put chains on your tires and bring extra emergency supplies. Even rain can be dangerous on the road. All these hazards become even more risky when you aren’t comfortable with the route you are driving.

You may want to keep a weather radio in your car in order to get alerts on bad weather coming your way. That way, if something does come up, you may have time to get out of harm's way to mitigate risk or detours.

Let Someone Else Know where You are Going

While going on your adventure, it is always important that ‘back home’ knows where you are and when you plan to return. Before you leave, you should provide someone with an itinerary containing the details of your trip. When traveling through foreign territory, there is always a chance something will delay your travels. Having someone reach out to you periodically to make sure everything is alright offers an extra layer of precaution, just in case things go wrong. Most friends and family are willing to do this.

There are so many wondrous things to see in the world. Going on a road trip brings families together, opens perspectives, and creates lasting memories. Make sure to prepare ahead of time and take the needed precautions so that your trip remains as fun filled as possible.

If you’re going on a road trip to Frisco and need a place to stay, check out our accommodations!