5 Important Safety Tips for Car Rides this Summer

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Most people get a touch of wanderlust when the weather gets warm – especially if you have some money saved and can get some time off from work.

It’s time to hit the road! But make sure you heed these essential safety tips for car rides this summer.

That way, you’ll ensure a safe journey for yourself and your loved ones. By following these simply precautions, you can enjoy a safer, worry-free journey.

safety tips for car rides
Follow these safety tips for car rides this summer.

CONTENTS – In this article, you will learn 5 important safety tips about traveling by car this summer, including:

5 Vacation Safety Tips for Car Rides

While it seems easy enough to hop in your car and head off on a road trip, there are some potential dangers you’ll want to avoid. Make sure you are well-prepared for safe travels ahead!

1. Drive Safely

If you’re traveling by car, the most obvious and important thing driving safely.

Whether you’re driving or you’re relying on someone else to take the wheel, always follow safe driving habits.

That includes:

  • Keeping your speeds down
  • Driving defensively
  • Removing any distractions
  • Making sure the vehicle is well-maintained

You should also consider getting a roadside assistance service and packing an emergency kit.

Sadly, car accidents pose one of the biggest risks to your safety on any road trip. For example, Miami-Dade County had 51,543 car wrecks in 2020, and you can expect similar numbers most years.  

So, keep that in mind when you embark on a road trip and make driving safely your first priority.

2. Avoid Sunburn

If you drive this year while on vacation, you might travel through desolate areas.

Maybe you’ll be crossing through Arizona, New Mexico, or Texas. The American South and Southwest have some exciting attractions, but they also feature large states with few rest stops in some areas.

If you’re spending hours driving across a Southern or Southwestern state with your arm out the window–or through any sunny conditions for that matter–be careful not to get sunburned.

One of the often overlooked safety tips for car rides is to bring some kind of sun protection on your road trip.

Even if you have the AC blasting, in many cases, you’ll still have the sun beating down on you. You can’t really avoid it if you’re driving at certain hours, and often there’s no shade to be found on the highway.

So, protect your skin.

That might mean wearing a light-weight, long-sleeved shirt or you can put on sunblock in the morning, and reapply it when you stop and stretch your legs.

Sunburn is no laughing matter. Not only can it be painful, but repeated sunburn increases your risk for skin cancer.

Even though sunburn isn’t among the biggest road trip pet peeves, it is still no laughing matter.

3. Quench Your Thirst

Safe trip back home
Stay hydrated while you’re traveling by car.

If you’re driving across barren stretches, and it is midday, you will feel the sun’s rays. You can deter a sunburn, but you should also stay hydrated.

Dehydration can be a real health hazard.

So, bring a cooler filled with ice. Stock it with water bottles, Gatorade or other sports drinks with electrolytes. Instead of buying the drinks individually at a rest stop, you’ll save money if you hit a Walmart or Target and buy them in bulk before the trip.

You’ll also want to bring a smaller cooler pack and refillable travel cup in the main cabin of your car. That way, whenever you feel parched, you’ll have a cool drink within reach.

4. Manage Fatigue

On long driving trips, you’ll probably experience a certain amount of fatigue while driving.

You may save money driving versus flying in most instances, but if you have a multiple-day trip, it’s exhausting.

This is especially true when you’re driving across states like Kansas or Idaho with long stretches of highway with nothing noteworthy in sight. It’s possible that you’ll find yourself nodding off behind the wheel, especially at night.

So, make sure you manage your fatigue however you can, as it can be deadly on the road.

One of the most obvious ways is to make sure you get enough rest and limit the number of hours you’re driving. Better yet, if you’re traveling with other licensed drivers, take turns in the driver’s seat.

Plan frequent breaks along the way to stretch your legs and remain alert.

You might drink caffeinated beverages like coffee or tea if you find that helps. You can go with an iced coffee on a hot day, drink energy drinks like Red Bull, or sodas like Coke or Mountain Dew as well.

And be sure to stay well-nourished. Packaged snacks are tasty and easy, but make sure you’re getting plenty of protein, fruits, and vegetables, too. A balanced diet will help maintain your energy levels.

Finally, if you are too tired to drive – don’t. It’s not worth the risk.

5. Use Caution with Faulty Travel Apps

Safe trip back home
Always plan your route before leaving.

You might have a travel app on your phone that you always rely on. Perhaps you use Google Maps, Waze, or another comparable app from the App Store if you’re on an iOS device.

However, just because a travel app seems trustworthy, that does not necessarily mean you should follow it all the time. If you see that the app’s taking you somewhere that seems wrong, you must trust your senses and not the technology.

That’s why it’s a good idea to plan out your route before you blindly trust the app to get you to your destination. While these apps don’t usually make mistakes, occasionally – they do.

So check out a map or chart the course online so you have a general sense of your route beforehand.

Final Thoughts on Safety Tips for Car Rides

As you embark on your road trip, always think of safety first.

When you prioritize your safety and take necessary precautions, you can better ensure a safe trip. Then, you can dive in the pool, ride some rollercoasters, take in the wildlife, or do whatever else your heart desires.

Have a wonderful journey!

Jackie Gately at the beach

About Jackie Gately, editor-IN-CHIEF

I'm Jackie Gately, your travel confidante and the creative force behind Enjoy Travel Life, awarded the "Best Casual-Luxury Lifestyle Blog (USA)" in Travel and Tourism by LUXlife Magazine for four consecutive years.

With 25 years of published expertise, I'm a seasoned writer, editor, and photographer curating inspiring travel guides and lifestyle tips for empty nesters. I hope to kindle your spirit of exploration, encouraging you to overcome obstacles and turn your dreams into reality.

Learn to minimize your pre-travel angst and maximize the joy of exploration with insights from my experiences. Let's make every adventure a celebration of this exciting phase of life! 

Follow my social channels for more inspiration.

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