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Top 10 Road Trip Safety Tips


Updated January 23, 2014

Whether it's a road trip to the beach during spring break or the annual summer cross-country family trek in the minivan (formerly the station wagon), preparing for safety and first aid should be as important as a good map.

These road trip first aid tips will help you plan for your next overland outing.

1. Pack the Appropriate First Aid Kit

Bandages for a trip to Grandma's house or enough supplies to do minor surgery in the Outback -- packing the right first aid kit depends entirely on where you're going. Customize your first aid kit to your road trip.

2. Learn to Call 911 on Your Cell Phone

Depending on your location and whether your cell phone is a modern marvel of technology or that off-white brick from the 80s, calling 911 may not work as slick as calling from a phone with wires attaching it to the wall. Know the difference before you visit Yellowstone.

3. 911 Doesn't Always Add Up

If your road trip crosses the border, do you know how to summon an ambulance? 066 will get you the help you need in Mexico. In Canada, emergency phone numbers depend on what part of the country you're visiting. Learn about your destination before you get there.

4. Be Ready for the Sun

The sun can burn; it can dehydrate, and it can over-hydrate. Know what to expect from those deadly rays.

5. Keep Warm

Not all road trips are taken in warm climates. If you find yourself out in the cold, follow these tips.

6. Don't Drink Too Much

First tip, don't drink and drive -- not even a little bit. Second, if you drink too much (or your buddies do), know what to do.

7. Learn to Take a Punch

Now that you've gone out and tied one on with the rest of your road trip posse, you're bound to get into some trouble. These tips will you help you lick your wounds (figuratively speaking, of course).

8. Don't Drink the Water

Not feeling too well on the road? It's common for travelers to have upset stomachs.

9. Pack Your DEET

Different parts of the world have different bugs, but they often cause the same kind of bite. Know what to look for and how to treat it.

10. Don't Move Your Head!

Crashed the road-trip mobile? Don't move. Read these tips while you're waiting for an ambulance. Of course, how long you have to wait depends on which first aid kit you took from item #1 above.

Make sure you're buckled in when you're on the road. If you have munchkins in the car, see to it that they have a proper car seat.

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