Plan a Road Trip With Safety in Mind

Follow these seven best practices to make your adventure safer and more enjoyable.

Car with luggage on top driving down palm tree-lined road iStock

It’s exciting to plan a road trip and figure out the places you’ll go. And whether you’re gearing up for adventure, relaxation, sightseeing, family time or all of the above, it’s important to consider the rules of the road and how to make your trip a safe one.

If the road is calling, join the ranks of savvy road-trippers and follow these tips for a fantastic ride.

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Give your vehicle a checkup.

Before hitting the road, make sure your car can get you where you want to go. Visit your nearby AAA Approved Auto Repair facility or AAA Car Care location for a tuneup, and have the tires, brakes, battery, engine oil, radiator, wiper blades, fluids, belts, hoses, filters and air conditioning thoroughly checked.

  • TIP: A free vehicle maintenance inspection is offered upon request with any paid service, a $50 value for AAA Members.

Rent your ride.

Reduce the wear and tear on your vehicle by renting a car for your next road trip. Save money on a Hertz rental with your AAA Membership—with over 3,000 off-airport locations, you’re sure to find a ride that meets your needs.

Dog in car with window down with shops and restaurants in the background iStock

Keep pets safe and happy.

If you plan a road trip with your furry friend in tow, keep these suggestions in mind:

  • Make sure vaccinations are up to date before hitting the road.
  • Bring the essentials along, including vaccination records, collar with tags, food, water, and favorite toys and treats.
  • Ensure your pet will be able to keep up with your itinerary.
  • When driving for long stretches, make pit stops for bathroom breaks and fresh air.
Top view of automobiles driving along a beach iStock

Practice defensive driving.

The rules of the road are there for a reason, so take your time but cruise defensively. Keep a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front of you, scan the road ahead and check your surroundings for potential hazards. Always signal when changing lanes. And most importantly, stay alert and avoid distraction.

Tap into the AAA Mobile app.

Make the most of the AAA Mobile app to drive safely and find the best amenities. The app can:

  • Help you plan two-hour driving breaks
  • Search AAA Approved and Diamond hotels, as well as nearby gas stations, restaurants and attractions (and discounts too)
  • Request roadside assistance, should you need it

When planning a road trip, have a first aid and emergency kit on hand. Assemble your own or purchase one and supplement it with additional items like blankets, a weather radio, a flashlight, drinking water, and nonperishable food for people and pets.

And of course, have a paper map of your route in case your GPS falters. A printed TripTik can be ordered online (allow two weeks for mail delivery). You can also pick it up at your local branch office.

Car driving on road next to rocky terrain iStock

Don’t forget to enjoy the trip!

After all the safety precautions and trip preparations, don’t forget the most important part—enjoying it! Take in the scenery, find spots to stop and use your AAA Membership to unlock discounts along the way.

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