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Considering the high prices of airfare, you might be tempted to drive this upcoming summer to your favorite vacation destination. At first glance, the overall cost seems less and you’ll have a chance to do some exploring as you drive.

However, road trips can also have a few significant downsides. For one, you’re heading into unfamiliar territory, which could lead to a greater accident risk. Two, should your car break down, you’re far from home. And three, there’s always the chance that you didn’t pack enough supplies. So, as you head out onto the road, keep these tips in mind to have a safer trip.

1. Get a Tune-Up

blog-roadtripNeglecting to check for basic maintenance issues is a cause of accidents and breakdowns. To lessen your chances of both, make sure you have a licensed mechanic check your tires, battery, belts, air conditioner, oil and other fluids.

2. Get Enough Sleep

Did you know that driving drowsy contributes to roughly 100,000 accidents per year? Whether you’re leaving from home or have a multi-night driving trip planned, make sure you get at least seven to eight hours of sleep, so you remain alert and able to tackle the terrain ahead.

3. Make an Emergency Kit

As motorists, we understand that emergencies do happen, so be prepared with a kit to get through them. Make sure your car has the following:

  • Water
  • Blankets
  • Flashlight
  • Jumper cables
  • Flares
  • Tire-changing tools
  • Cell phone and a backup phone card
  • First-aid kit

Additionally, make sure you have a roadside assistance plan, through AAA or your insurance, in case your battery dies or you need to have the car towed.

4. Pack Light

Heavy luggage and gear make for a difficult drive, as the extra weight can eat away at your gas mileage. Before you leave, make sure you only bring the necessities and remove any unneeded items. Make sure that anything tied to the roof or sticking out of the trunk is securely fastened to avoid the harm of another motorist if you have to stop suddenly.

5. Prepare for Difficult Spots

Are you aware of all the spots along your journey that will have a high level of traffic, difficult roads or confusing intersections? Know what these are in advance, from where they are to the times of day when they’re the most challenging, and practice defensive driving whenever you pass through.

6. Have Your Documents Ready

You never know when you’ll be pulled over! In the event that you are, have all insurance and registration documents ready and your driver’s license in your wallet.

Even for skilled drivers, car accidents can still happen. If you later find yourself dealing with a difficult insurance company that doesn’t want to fully compensate you for your injuries, have Trantolo & Trantolo’s experienced lawyers take on your case. To speak with an attorney today, contact any of our locations.