Staying Safe on Road Trips

Staying Safe on Road Trips


Couple on road trip with a map

As Americans gear up for the traveling season, millions of people will take to the nation’s highways for vacations, sight-seeing, visiting national parks and seeing family members. Whenever you are preparing to travel, you need to be aware of common types of hazards that can occur and what to do about them.

Tire Blowouts
The National Safety Commission reports that when you have a tire that blows out, your vehicle will swerve towards the side of the car where the blown tire is located. When this happens, there are several things you should and should not do.

Many people make the mistake of slamming on their brakes when a tire blows out. You should not do this, and should refrain from applying the brakes at all. When a tire has blown out, braking can cause your vehicle to veer even more. You should also refrain from over-correcting, focusing on your steering and trying to get your vehicle back in the direction in which you need it to go. Take your foot off of the gas pedal and let your car slow gradually until you come to a stop.

Sticking Accelerator
When your accelerator is stuck and you are unable to keep your vehicle from continuing to increase its speed, there are a few things you can do in order to try to regain control of your vehicle. The first thing to try is to press on your brakes. Braking may still be able to stop your vehicle even when your accelerator is stuck. Shifting into neutral is very important because your vehicle’s engine will then not be sending power to your tires. You can then brake and use your power steering to regain control. While turning your vehicle off will slow the vehicle, it will make it more difficult to maneuver, making it a poor choice.

Animals on the Highway
The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that as many as 2 million accidents happen every year when people hit animals on the roadway. The Defenders of Wildlife recommend that people should do the following when you see an animal on the road:

1. Use your brakes and blare your horn, but stay in your lane if possible. If you swerve, you run the risk of running off of the road or hitting oncoming cars.

2. Animals are most active at dawn and twilight. You should be extra cautious when driving at these times, and pay attention to animal crossing signs.

3. There are normally several animals around when you see one, so be careful even if you don’t hit the first one you see.

Road Debris
Like avoiding wildlife, you should try not to swerve if you can avoid it. You should also make certain you are aware of other vehicles. For example, if a truck is carrying a load that isn’t properly secured, you should back away from the truck, switch lanes and pass it.

Plan Ahead
Planning ahead for what could happen can help you to make better driving decisions if you are confronted by road dangers. One of the most important things you can do is drive at the posted speed limit, or slower if conditions warrant it. You should always pay attention to the road, your surroundings and other cars. If you do have an accident, try to pull to the shoulder if possible, turn on your hazards and call for help.

When you plan ahead for the worst possible scenarios that could occur on your trip, you may be better able to avoid serious accidents. You may also want to add roadside assistance on to your automobile insurance policy. If you need auto insurance, call Breathe Easy Insurance Solutions today at 866.822.7755 for your free quote. We offer many insurance policies to fit your budget and your needs.