With the summer weather finally going away and colder months on the horizon, some families are beginning to plan cross-country winter road trips to see the beauty of the snow. While taking a classic road trip can lead to many fun memories for everyone in your family, it can be dangerous as with any other type of travel.
In fact, it is statistically more dangerous to drive than fly for your travels which goes to show the importance of being cautious. To that end, learn the common dangers you will face on a road trip along with simply tips for keeping you and your loved ones safe while you enjoy your journey.
How Common Are Car Accidents on the Road?
Unfortunately, as you may except, car accidents pose a major risk to those traveling by road on their vacation. There are an estimated 13 car crashes that occur globally in a single minute alone. Going further, the economic cost of these accidents including lost wages, medical expenses, administrative expenses, and more amount to $1,750,000 and $101,000 for a disabling injury in recent years.
3 Leading Causes of Danger on a Road Trip
Knowing the road is dangerous is one thing but understanding what to expect is another. That’s why the three leading causes of danger on a road trip have been broken down below:
1. Impaired Drivers
As one may expect, impaired drivers cause a large number of accidents on roads around the world. Whether it’s drivers who have been drinking or drivers who have ingested some type of drug, impaired driving is never a good idea. Should you see other vehicles on the road acting erratically, leave them plenty of space to reduce the risk of a crash.
2. Getting Lost in an Unfamiliar Area
Nobody wants to find themselves lost when they don’t know the area they are in but this happens quite a bit unfortunately. Drivers who forget to take a paper map and don’t have access to a digital map, typically due to lost reception, often find themselves in this exact situation.
3. Criminal Activity
Depending on the part of the country or world you are driving to on your road trip, there’s a chance you may pass through a town that has significant criminal activity. Without knowing the area, you may be unaware of the danger until it is too late.
3 Ways to Stay Safe While Traveling on the Road
Considering the fact that nearly 5,000 people died in semi-truck collisions in 2020 at the time of the last poll and many more fell victim to the other causes of dangers on road trips, it’s important to learn how to stay safe:
- Take care of preventative maintenance on your vehicle
All drivers should start by ensuring that their vehicle is road-ready and unlikely to break down on them while they are on their road trip. This can help prevent other dangers such as being a victim of crime, getting lost, and even can help to reduce the risk of a car accident with another vehicle.
2. Act defensively on the roadway
As a driver, you need to act defensively on the road, rather than offensively. Even if another driver annoys you extremely with their actions, it is still your responsibility to be vigilant behind the wheel and not to lose your cool. Losing your temper can lead to a nasty car accident which nobody wants.
3. Avoid driving at night
Finally, a simply tip to keep in mind which can help protect you and your loved ones on your road trip is to avoid driving at night as much as possible. While it sounds cliché, nighttime truly is when it is most dangerous in the majority of places around the world which is why you should aim to travel when it’s light out. In addition to this, you are more likely to be tired at night which can lead to an accident due to microsleep.
Keep yourself protected on the road
Nobody wants their vacation to be cut short just because of an injury that occurred on vacation which ruined the whole trip. Therefore, use all of the above tips to keep yourself and others safe on your journey. All road trippers should take the time to build an emergency kit for the back of their vehicle, though, which contains items such as flares, band-aids and gauze, paper maps, and other helpful items. With the right preparation, there will be nothing for you to fear on your upcoming trip.