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Safety Tips for Your Next Road Trip

Whether you’re riding around Oklahoma or going beyond our great state, a road trip can be great summer fun. To make the most of your trip, follow these safety tips.

Do Careful Planning Before You Leave

Planning is vital, no matter if you’re going an hour away or to the other side of the country. Things to consider and arrange in advance include:

  • Weather forecasts and predicted road conditions
  • Sunrise and sunset times
  • Construction and scheduled road closures
  • Heaviest traffic times for roads you’ll be using
  • Rest stops
  • Places to stay overnight

It’s worth repeating that accidents happen most often under four conditions:

  1. Overtired driver
  2. Driver distracted
  3. Bad weather or low light
  4. Driving speeding

You can avoid all of these if you use detailed planning and follow the advice in this post. Give yourself extra time to prevent rushing to your next stop.

Drive During Least-Trafficked Daylight Hours

You can avoid driving when you’re too tired and when light is poor if you do most of your traveling during the day. Try to head out after morning rush hour and pull off the highway before commuters start heading home again at the end of the day.

Practice Defensive Driving

Defensive driving means being aware when you’re behind the wheel and assuming that other drivers aren’t always so careful. You want to give them extra space – at least a few car lengths or seconds – in case they make an error, which gives you more time to get out of the way. Other ways you can practice defensive driving are:

  • Always wear your seat belt.
  • Avoid speeding (including driving too fast for conditions, like rain).
  • Never talk on the phone or text while driving.
  • Find the safest lane for the road you're on and stay in it, moving out of that lane only to pass when it’s clear.
  • Always signal when changing lanes or exiting the highway.
  • Use extra caution turning left and going through traffic signals.
  • Stay as far away from semi trucks as possible, particularly when passing.
  • If someone is riding on your tail, pull over when it’s safe and let them pass.
  • Don’t drive under the influence of alcohol or sedating medications.

Get Your Vehicle in Tip-Top Shape

Before you hit the road, make sure your car or truck is in good shape for the long drive. Ask your mechanic to check the following:

  • Oil, filters, and all fluids
  • Windshield wipers
  • Tires (air and treads)
  • Headlights, tail lights, and directional signals
  • Engine parts

Also, if you plan on using a roof rack or trailer, ensure they are securely fastened and loaded correctly.

Always Have Your Auto Insurance Information with You

You are required to have your auto insurance documents with you at all times. Check to make sure you have these items in your glove box before starting your trip:

  • Insurance ID card with policy number and vehicle numbers
  • Insurance agent contact information in case of emergency
  • Number for roadside assistance in the event you become stranded

Need to make sure you have the right auto insurance coverage before departing on your road trip? Call Hometown Insurance Agency at 918-221-7686 today, or reach out online for a quote at your convenience.