Any driving school NYC will teach new drivers how to be safe on the road, whether they are just cruising around town, or going on a full-blown road trip. Road trips are some of the most fun, low-budget activities you can do with friends and family. With so many scenic drives across the country, it is appealing to jump in the car and hit the road to see all the natural beauty that America has to offer.
While you might think that you know what it takes to have a safe and successful road trip, you might be surprised. Unlike your daily commute to and from work, or running errands around town, road trips cover a much larger expanse of time and distance. Here are 8 tips to help you prepare for a fun and safe road trip with friends or family!
- Get Plenty of Rest
The best way to prepare for a long road trip is to get plenty of sleep the night before. When on the open road, you’ll only have those who are with you, and whatever music is on the radio to keep you occupied and awake. Long road trips are a test of endurance. Road trips require sitting for long hours, accompanied by the drone of the car’s engine, all while trying to stay alert and focused on everything going on around you.
Road trips are fun, and provide a great way to see the country. Make sure that you are well-rested and prepared for the trip. There is nothing scarier for passengers than to see that the car is drifting into oncoming traffic because the driver fell asleep.
- Bring a Map
While most people will think that a map is not necessary, it is highly recommended that you bring one along just in case. Nowadays, most drivers rely on the GPS component of their smartphones. While this is a great resource, what happens when your phone dies, or if you leave it on the roof of the car at the gas station and drive off, or if it gets stolen along your trip? Then what? Don’t have just one means of navigation on a road trip.
- Refuel Often
We’ve all seen the thriller movies where a group of young adults are driving along, usually at night, when they just happen to notice the gas gauge is reading just above the blaring red “E”. But when they pull in to the next gas station, something doesn’t seem quite right, and next thing you know, a crazy killer is pursuing them, and they are trying to run for their lives. While this might be Hollywood’s adaptation of teaching what not to do on a road trip, it offers some sound advice.
When your gas gauge reads about ¼ tank, think about stopping at the next gas station. In some parts of the country, gas stations are quite spread out, so it might be a while before you see another one. Don’t risk getting stranded on the side of the road because you ran out of gas. It is also a good idea to bring a spare gas can along with you, just in case the unfortunate does happen.
- Obey State Cell Phone Laws
Depending on the state that you are driving in, this will determine if using a cell phone to talk to someone is against the law or not. Some states don’t care if you are talking on your phone while driving, while other states will not hesitate to give you a ticket if you are caught talking and driving. Still other states permit hands-free devices to talk on the phone. No matter what the state laws are, pleading ignorance from not being a resident of that state will most likely not get you out of a ticket. Before heading out, check out the state laws on cell phones for the different states that you will be driving through.
- Take Turns Driving
When going on long road trips, it is a good idea to take turns driving with other licensed drivers in the car. It is not a good idea for one person to drive for eight hours straight. Share the burden of driving and switch off often, so that everyone arrives safely.
- Slow Down and Take Your Time
Part of the fun of a road trip is the journey, not just the end destination. Along your route, take breaks to get out and stretch your legs, use the restroom, or grab something to eat. Along your way, it might be tempting to speed so that you can hurry up and reach the end goal. While this is tempting, speeding is against the law in every state. Therefore, you should resist the urge to speed, and enjoy the scenery along the way instead.
- Drive Smoothly
You might be driving the most fuel-efficient vehicle on the market today, but just because it is labeled as fuel-efficient doesn’t necessarily mean it is. Fuel efficiency depends on the type of car that you are driving, and how you drive. Some cars are more efficient at slower speeds than at higher speeds. Traffic that requires sudden deceleration or acceleration will also have a negative impact on your overall fuel efficiency. If you can hit certain speeds and maintain them, you’ll be getting better fuel efficiency and be doing your wallet a favor!
- Don’t Be Distracted
This one should be a no-brainer. Put cell phones and all other distractions away before starting to drive. Yes, there is monotony when driving for long periods of time on road trips, but the distractions to remedy the monotony are not worth the risk. Don’t conform to any behavior or action that will take your attention off the road. Literally, your life and the lives of those in the car with you are riding on your ability to not be distracted, and to deliver everyone safely to your end destination.
After completing a driving school NYC course, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge to have a safe and fun road trip now or in the future. Don’t wait! Sign up for driver’s education, 5-hour pre-licensing course or a defensive driving course with Drive Rite Academy in NYC today!