Driving through a beautiful and exotic country is a bucket list dream for some. But that dream can quickly turn into a nightmare.
Like when you drive your vehicle at home, you should take the same precautions and a little more planning when hitting the road in an unfamiliar place.
Common sense prevails for the most part, yet there are additional things you can do to help protect yourself when driving on holiday.
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Keep Your Eyes on the Road
It might sound obvious, but when you are driving your car or riding your motorcycle, keep your eyes on the road at all times.
Glancing at your phone, talking to a passenger or rubbernecking something interesting will likely cause an incident on the road.
Adequate car or good motorcycle accident attorneys can help with such matters.
However, if you are responsible for a severe accident because you took your eyes away from driving for even two seconds, you will be held liable.
In addition, some countries carry severe consequences for road traffic incidents.
Charge Up or Fill the Tank
Halfway through a planned road trip, the last thing you want is a broken down car because you didn’t fill the tank or charge your electric vehicle.
Unfortunately, this happens all the time and is easily prevented by paying attention to your charge percentage or fuel gauge.
Always take the opportunity to add more fuel or charge your EV whenever you can.
This way, you drastically reduce the chances of becoming stranded in an unfamiliar place.
Given you might not know the area, you could be hours away from help and might have to spend the night in your car.
Perform Pre-Driving Checks
Further to ensuring you have enough fuel or charge, you can help yourself have a better journey by performing pre-drive checks.
Some of the most critical reviews you should make include:
- Tire tread: check tread is deep enough and not worn.
- Fluid leaks: ensure there are no oil or brake fluids under your car.
- Damage to car parts: check your exhaust and other components are correctly fitted.
- Mirrors and windows: clean these and ensure they are as clear as possible
- Lights: check lights are bright and in working order.
These checks make sure everything is working as it should and provide an extra layer of safety when out on the road.
Put Your Phone on Silent
Distractions when driving are hazardous. Especially if driving at speed. Just 5 seconds of driving time at 55 mph covers a distance of a football field.
Whether it’s habit or carelessness, reaching for your phone while driving dramatically increases the chances of crashing.
On a deserted road, this means ending up in a ditch with a destroyed vehicle and possible injuries.
In a city or town, you will likely cause harm to someone else. Possibly a child.
If you don’t trust yourself, switch off your phone, or put it on silent or in the glove box. You can always check it at your next stop.
Know where You are Going
They say it’s not the destination. It’s the journey. And for a road trip or a driving holiday, that is indeed the case.
But all kinds of hazards abound if you don’t know exactly where you are headed and how to get there.
It might be more work, but you should always plan your route exactly. And, fortunately, you don’t need to be a map reader to do this.
Modern technology such as GPS devices and smartphone apps like Google Maps make planning a journey as simple as typing in your desired destination.
Additionally, you will be updated with weather, traffic and crime reports.
Check the Weather Reports
Modern systems keep you informed of the weather. However, in many places, such as the UK or Florida, the weather is very unpredictable.
Therefore, it is advised that you always plan ahead. The best way to prepare for the weather is to expect the worst.
Weather reports may say hot and sunny for the entire day. But as we all know, things can quickly change.
The phrase “pack for a British summer holiday” really means take your warm clothes and bring an umbrella.
Additionally, take some spare blankets and waterproof clothing since a rainstorm could go on for a long time.
Take Extra Supplies
In addition to planning for the weather, it is also a massive help if you always take extra supplies.
You never know what can happen when on the road, and a blanket and some water could mean the difference between living and dying.
Food and water, spare thermal blankets, waterproof clothing and a heat source, are excellent things to consider.
It is also advisable to take an extra, fully charged cell phone. Load it with the apps you may need, fully charge it and then switch it off. Keep it somewhere safe until you need it.
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