Road trips are an exciting way to explore new places, enjoy scenic routes, and make unforgettable memories with loved ones. However, it’s important to prioritize safety while on the road to ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey. Preparing for a road trip can be overwhelming, but taking the time to pack emergency essentials, plan the route, and ensure your car is in good condition can make all the difference. In this blog, we’ll go over road trip safety essentials to ensure a safe and enjoyable journey.
Pack Emergency Essentials Before Leaving Home
When packing for a road trip, it’s important to pack an emergency kit to prepare for any unforeseen situations. Here are some items you should have on hand in case of an emergency:
1. Driver’s licence
Make sure you always have your driving licence on hand. It’s essential to have proper identification when driving.
2. Car registration and insurance information
In case of an accident or getting pulled over, it’s important to have your car registration and insurance information readily available.
3. Car manual
Keep your car manual in your glove compartment in case you need to refer to it while on the road.
4. CAA card or information for roadside assistance
In case of a breakdown, having CAA or other roadside assistance information on hand can be a lifesaver.
5. Extra car key kept in a different spot
It’s always a good idea to have an extra car key in case you lose your primary key.
6. Spare tire, tire jack, and tools required to change a flat tire
You never know when you’ll get a flat tire, so having a spare tire, tire jack, and tools on hand can save you time and money.
7. Water-resistant flashlight
In case of a breakdown at night or in the dark, having a water-resistant flashlight can be invaluable.
8. A paper map
While many people rely on GPS or map apps, it’s always a good idea to have a paper map in case your phone dies or you lose service.
9. First aid kit
It’s important to have a first aid kit on hand for any minor injuries or accidents that may occur.
10. Phone charger
Keep a phone charger on hand to ensure your phone doesn’t die while on the road.
11. Hands-free phone mount
A hands-free phone mount is essential to ensure you can navigate and use your phone without being distracted while driving.
12. Garbage bag
Keep a garbage bag in the car to dispose of any trash, food, or wrappers.
13. Roll of toilet paper, tissues, and napkins
It’s always a good idea to have extra toilet paper, tissues, and napkins on hand for any unexpected needs.
Get Your Car Ready for the Road
Before hitting the road, ensure your car is in good condition. Take your car to the mechanic for a checkup, oil change, and tire rotation. Check that the brakes, headlights, and taillights are working correctly. Having a mechanic check your car before hitting the road can prevent car breakdowns and ensure a smooth journey.
Plan Your Trip and Rest Stops in Advance
Planning your trip and rest stops in advance can limit time spent driving distracted or lost. Plan your route and take note of rest areas and gas stations along the way. Taking breaks and stretching your legs can reduce fatigue and prevent accidents while driving.
Get Enough Sleep Before and During Your Trip
Getting enough sleep is essential before and during a road trip. According to studies, being awake for 18 hours straight makes you drive like you have a blood alcohol level of 0.05. Drowsy driving can cause accidents, and getting enough sleep before and during a road trip can prevent fatigue and improve your driving ability.
Bring Extra Supplies for Remote Areas
If you’re driving through remote areas, it’s a good idea to pack extra supplies. These include an extra jug of coolant or water, wiper fluid, a portable gas container, and a quart of oil. These items can come in handy if you run into car problems and can’t find a gas station or mechanic nearby.
Car Seat Guidelines and Requirements for Younger Children in Ontario
The specific car seat your child needs will vary depending on their developmental stage, height, and weight. The table below can help you determine which car seat is right for them.
|Car Seat Type||Age||Weight||Height|
|Rear-facing car seat||Infant/baby||Up to 20 lbs||None|
|Rear-facing car seat if the manufacturer recommends its use OR Forward-facing car seat||Toddler||20-40 lbs||None|
|Booster seat||Under 8 years of age||40-80 lbs||Under 4’9|
Once your child reaches any of the below milestones, they can use a seatbelt alone without a car seat:
- Weights 80 lbs or more.
- Reaches 4’9 or taller.
- Turns 8 years old.
In Ontario, all drivers – even those from out of province – must make sure that all children in their car are properly secured.
- This means that all children under 16 are wearing seat belts.
- All children under 8 are in their appropriate car seats or booster seats.
What to Do in Case of An Accident
1. Call the police and report your accident.
Police reports are a valuable part of any court proceeding, so ensuring that the police have all the information you have available will reflect positively on your case.
2. Record names and addresses.
Get all the information of the other parties involved in the accident, as well as any witnesses to your accident. The police, insurance companies, and the Court may request this information.
3. Keep your family doctor informed.
Your doctor plays an important role in you successfully recovering personal compensation. A doctor’s record and evaluation of your injuries, recovery, and rehabilitation efforts are an important part of the process.
4. Notify your insurance company.
It’s important to tell your insurance company that you’ve had an accident as soon as possible. Timelines are critical and getting ahead of them with as many updates as you can will go a long way.
5. Tell your employer or school.
Informing your employer or school about your accident allows them to support you and your case. Ultimately, employers need to know how much work or how many days of class you are missing as a result of your accident.
6. Record healthcare worker information.
The healthcare workers involved in your immediate treatment and short-term/long-term recovery will be able to support your case. They can provide information to the police, insurance companies, and the court.
7. Record insurance company correspondence.
Keep track of all the correspondence you have with your own and other insurance companies. Record phone calls if possible and always ask for electronic or paper records of important information.
8. Call MG Law.
Calling MG Law is your last step in what to do after an accident. Our team has the knowledge and experience necessary to help you. This includes understanding your rights and successfully recovering the personal injury settlement you deserve.