According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), two in every five Americans take a road trip each year to visit the country’s most beautiful locations. Road trips have been easy with sophisticated GPS systems, more efficient cars, as well as improved and well-connected highways. However, mishaps are always possible if you do not plan adequately. Here are the top ten things not to do if you want to avoid the route to hell.

1. Don’t drive a BAD car

Economical hatchbacks are not worth it for long road trips. Road trippers should evaluate fuel economy, passenger comfort, cargo volume, off-road ability, and cruise control. The driver should consider safety features such as airbags, traction control, vehicle stability, and a tire pressure monitoring system for a road trip. 

According to the car accident lawyers, Nicoletti Accident Injury Lawyers, each year they represent numerous passengers, drivers, pedestrians and cyclists who suffered injuries from a collision with a car that was not road-worthy. Check out sites like Road Trip America to determine which vehicles are best suited for long-distance travel. It’s sometimes better to rent a car than to be stranded on the side of the road in your Pinto.

2. Avoid putting your feet on the dashboard.

An airbag can deploy at up to 220 kilometers per hour and deliver a force of more than 880 pounds to a front-seat passenger in the case of an accident. Feet on the dash might cause knees to slam into the chest or face. In a recent similar accident, a girl got her knees broken, her cheekbone, left eye socket, and nose, dislocated her jaw, injured both of her feet, and sadly, she suffered brain damage during a crash when her feet were on the dash.

3. Don’t Drive uninformed in difficult areas

  • Inform someone of your travel plans.
  • Avoid driving in the afternoon when temperatures are at the highest.
  • Keep hydrated.
  • If your engine overheats, pull over and call a mobile mechanic
  • If your car breaks down, stay with it until you know exactly where the next oasis is. Keep the hood lifted to alert passersby that you require assistance.

4. Don’t rely solely on one GPS

There are numerous good iPhone and Android navigation applications available for download, and on a long road trip, you should use them all. While Waze is wonderful for getting you to your destination quickly (it computes the optimum route depending on traffic), Google Maps includes attractions such as national parks on the screen. You can find convenient stops and quick routes by comparing the two apps. If you are on a limited data plan on your smartphone, download the new Here app, which saves your route so you can use it offline.

5. Avoid eating fast food while travelling

Some excellent choices: Trail mix is high in fiber, healthy fats, and protein, all of which help to keep blood sugar stable. Nut butter is high in protein and does not require refrigeration. Brown rice cakes and pretzel sticks are a good option too. For something sweet, dehydrated fruits (without added sugar) are ideal. Healthy protein bars high in nuts, seeds, oats, and dried fruits yet low in sugar are popular.

6. Never drive in exertion

To avoid potential mishaps, the driver must get adequate rest (seven to nine hours) the night before a long journey. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that driver drowsiness causes 100,000 collisions each year, resulting in 1,550 deaths, 71,000 injuries, and $12.5 billion in property damage. And the less sleep you get, the more deadly it becomes. If you have a long journey ahead of you, stop and take a 20- to 30-minute nap. 

It is absolutely essential to be cautious while you are on a long road trip. Additionally, traffic laws differ by state on cell phone use, and smoking cigarettes in a car with kids, among many other issues. It is important to be aware of these as well.

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Last Update: August 19, 2022