If you love road trips, you know there is nothing more exhilarating and freeing than taking off to your next destination, leaving everything behind you and beginning an adventure. If you take enough road trips, you will probably eventually want to take one solo. You may not be able to find anyone to go with you on your latest adventure, or you may simply want some time alone to think. While taking a solo road trip can be a wonderful and empowering experience, it could also be dangerous if you are not prepared. Before you take off alone, make sure you think about the following tips:
1) Make sure your car is in tip-top condition.
Yes, car maintenance is boring and sometimes costly. But if you’re planning on doing solo road trips it is essential. Before starting any trip, visit a trustworthy mechanic for an inspection of your vehicle. Make sure everything is in good condition and that all maintenance tasks (oil changes, tire rotations etc.) are up to date. Poor car maintenance causes many people to get into accidents or end up stranded on the road every year. Don’t become a statistic.
2) Give your itinerary to someone you trust, and check in regularly.
One of the best ways to ensure your safety during your solo trip is to make sure that someone you trust knows where you are. Give a friend or family member a copy of your itinerary, and make sure it details where you plan to be each day. Plan to check in every day with this person (just a quick text or email to say you are ok is enough). That way, if something happens, and you cannot check in with this person, they will be alerted that something could have possibly gone wrong.
3) Don’t drive while tired.
If you’re taking on a long road trip solo, it can be tempting to push through exhaustion to make it a few more miles in a day. However, you should never do this. As Hollywood, Florida car accident lawyer Ronald Rosen explains, driving while tired can be as dangerous as driving while intoxicated. Why? Your reaction times when you are exhausted are slowed almost as much as when you are drunk. If you’re feeling drowsy or worse, falling asleep, pull over and find a place to get some sleep.
4) Pack an emergency kit.
While no one wants to be stranded on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere, there is no real way you can assure you don’t end up in this situation at some point. Because of this, you should make sure you have an emergency packed for your trip. Bring things like water, snacks, jumper cables, tire changing equipment, a blanket, extra gas, and a portable battery for your phone.
5) Don’t drive in the blind spots of large vehicles.
Accidents with 18-wheelers and other large vehicles cause many of the traffic fatalities that occur each year. There are many reasons for this. One reason is that the size of these vehicles causes more impact on the other vehicle during a crash. Another reason is that these types of vehicles generally have large blind spots. If you are driving in the blind spot of a large vehicle, the driver can easily merge into you or sideswipe you without ever seeing you. To keep this from happening, Missouri trucking wreck lawyer Benjamin Sansone recommends that you stay in front of or behind large vehicles. If you need to pass them, do so quickly.
6) Bring some entertainment.
Driving solo can be a good opportunity to be alone with your thoughts, but a solo road trip can quickly become monotonous. Bring some music, podcasts, audiobooks, or anything else that you enjoy listening to. This can help the time pass a lot more quickly as you travel towards your destination.
7) Plan your route ahead of time.
Before you ever leave your driveway, you should know the general route you will be taking during your trip. It’s a good idea to bring a map, even if you’re using a GPS or your phone’s GPS to navigate. Sometimes, GPS systems can have trouble in remote areas, so its good to have a paper backup.
These are just a few tips to help you plan out your first solo road trip. Remember to plan ahead of time and take necessary precautions to be safe, but also make sure you take the time to simply enjoy your trip. A solo road trip is something many people are never brave enough to try, so congratulate yourself for trying something out of the ordinary, and make sure you take plenty of photos and savor each moment of your trip.