Family Road Trip Safety

PREPARE BEFORE YOU GO

• Have your vehicle inspected and make any necessary repairs. • Check the spare tire for any cracking or low pressure. • Pack an emergency kit. • Charge your phone and bring a spare cord. • Let family and friends know where you’re headed and when you expect to get there.

STOP EVERY TWO HOURS

When you sit in one place too long, blood flow in your legs slows down while your risk for health problems goes up.1 Pull over and get out every two hours or so to stretch. Stopping occasionally will also help break up a long trip.

SNACK SMART

Avoid sugary or overly salty foods that cause spikes and crashes in your blood sugar. Instead, go for healthy and fiber-rich snacks such as dried fruit and nuts, or pack a cooler with fresh veggies.

STAY HYDRATED

Studies say that like drinking alcohol, mild dehydration can impair judgment and lead to accidents.2 Bring an insulated water bottle and refill it with cold water whenever you stop. Although you need to stay alert, limit your caffeine, because it can also be dehydrating.

SHARE THE WHEEL

Drowsy driving causes about 6,400 fatal accidents a year.3 And 37% of drivers admit they've nodded off at least once in their lives.3 If you feel tired, let someone else drive, or steer toward a hotel for the night.

KEEP THE KIDS AMUSED

The more restless they are, the more distracted you are. After games of "I Spy" and "License Plate Bingo" get old, be sure to have plenty of books, games, music and movies (if you’re technologically equipped!) on hand to provide hours of entertainment until you reach your destination.


1 U.S. News and World Report, How to Stay Healthy on a Road Trip, 2015. 2 Physiology and Behavior, August 2015. 3 AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, Drowsy Driving, 2017.

Step 1 is first for a reason: You always should make sure your vehicle is in good working order before going on a trip. Learn which car parts you should routinely maintain.