A family road trip is a great budget option which allows families to travel as well as providing a new perspective on a place. As long as you don’t mind the driving, a road trip is a brilliant way to have a real adventure, but it does require more preparation than other kinds of travel.
One of the biggest road trip mistakes that people make is not preparing their car properly before they leave, especially where safety is concerned. People always focus on making sure that the route is planned out, packing enough snacks, and finding entertainment, but they forget about making their car safe and roadworthy.
If you are embarking on a family road trip, it’s vital that you do everything you can to protect them and reduce the potential of accidents or car maintenance issues. The best way to do that is by making some modifications to the car before you set off and to pack a car diagnostic tool.
disclosure: this is a partnered post
Upgrade Wheels And Tyres
Your wheels and tyres are one of the most important safety features on your car. If your tyres are bald, you don’t have adequate grip on the road and you can easily lose control. So, make sure that you check the tread and if they are looking worn down, upgrade them.
In fact, it may be best to update them anyway and install runflat tyres. These are specially designed tyres that you are still able to drive on, even if you get a puncture. This can be a real lifesaver if you are in a new place with no clue where you are and your tyre blows out. A runflat gives you time to find the nearest mechanic and get the issue sorted right away, instead of getting stranded somewhere.
You should also consider upgrading the wheels themselves in order to increase safety. If you go for a set of mag wheels, which are lighter, you get a better read on the road and you have increased grip. Your handling is improved and they’re safer to drive on. This is particularly useful if your road trip takes you off the beaten track and onto some rough terrain. The stock wheels and tyres that come with your car are adequate and they’re fine for short-distance city driving, but they’re not well-equipped for long road trips.
If you don’t already have lane assist in your car, you should consider having it installed before you take a long family road trip. It’s not that expensive to fit and it makes a huge difference to your safety on long drives. During a long road trip, you may start to drift off and lose concentration. It’s vital that you take regular breaks and share the driving as much as possible to avoid this, but it’s still good to have backup safety measures in place too.
A lane assist warning system will let you know if you start to drift outside your lane so you can correct yourself. More than anything, it acts as an alarm to tell you that you’re starting to lose concentration and you should take a break. Often, people don’t realize just how tired they are and they think they are fine to keep driving, even though they are losing concentration.
Blind Spot Detection Systems
When changing lanes on a busy road or maneuvering around tight spaces, it’s vital that you are aware of your blind spots. But it’s possible to forget this when you’ve already been driving for a long time in a new country and you are concentrating on the unfamiliar roads and different driving rules. This can lead to some seriously dangerous situations, which is why a blind spot detection system is one of the most important safety upgrades you can make.
A series of sensors will be fitted to the car to detect any vehicles in your blind spots. If there are any, you will get a warning sound or light in the car to let you know. It’s a simple system, but it could help you avoid some serious accidents when you’re on a family road trip and in your everyday life.
Automatic Braking Systems
This one is pretty self-explanatory. An automatic braking system uses sensors to detect obstructions and then hits the brakes automatically. It can react a lot faster than you can and help you avoid serious accidents. This is obviously a great safety feature to have all the time, but it’s especially good on a long family road trip.
When you have been driving for a long time and you are starting to flag, your reaction times are likely to be slower. Even in situations where a collision is unavoidable, the automatic braking system will seriously reduce the severity of it and can save lives.
In-Car Entertainment Systems
Finding ways to keep yourselves and the kids entertained on a family road trip is so important, but have you thought about the danger that could be posed by having devices everywhere? When they start running out of juice and everybody is reaching over to plug them and passing chargers back and forth, it creates a lot of distractions for the driver.
Having an in-car entertainment system avoids these issues and if you have screens installed in the back of the seats, it’s easy for everybody in the back to stay occupied without distracting the driver. These systems can be quite expensive to install, but if you intend on taking a family road trip frequently, it’s a worthwhile investment. Even if you don’t go for screens in the back of the seats, having a Bluetooth system so you don’t have to use cables to play music still makes things safer.
In closing, when you are on a long family road trip, the most important thing to remember is to take regular breaks if you ever feel tired. However, you also need to think about the safety of your car prior to departure and consider making some upgrades. If you go on regular road trips and you want to make sure that your family is safe, you should investigate making these changes to your car.