There is something highly American about a cross-country road trip. The cinematic image of journeying past forests, mountains, deserts, and plains is ingrained in the minds of Americans, and with Summer coming up, many Americans will be jumping in a car and driving for miles to destinations of fun, family and relaxation. Statistics show that up to 89% of American families will be taking Summer road trips, and with summer gearing up, many of them are already planning for a great vacation. That said, nowhere near 89% of people stop to ask just a few questions before making that long awaited trip.
People often forget to ask themselves a few things before going on their summer vacation, and while most of the time these mistakes don’t cause problems, there are a few that can be very unfortunate when overlooked or forgotten.
Information is one of the greatest forms of protection in any situation you go into. Often, the worst mistakes are made when people do not really know their danger or their circumstances. It’s only when people don’t know there are piranhas in the water that they are most likely to dive straight in. Similarly, you may be diving headfirst onto the road, but are you sure you know all the threats you could end up facing?
Below are three questions people consistently overlook when planning a road trip, and when left unanswered, can lead to horrible situations. In this article, BriteBee shares “where the piranhas are swimming”, and what you need to know to have a great journey wherever you’re headed!
Am I insured if I get into an accident in another state?
This wouldn’t be the first thing to think about when planning a road trip, however, something unfairly forgotten when planning a trip is insurance. People don’t always know if their insurance will extend to out-of-state coverage, and while most insurance companies will cover accidents to your car out of state, there are some plans who only offer the minimum necessary coverage for incidents that occurred out-of-state. It’s worth it to do a double-check of your coverage plan, as you may want to call your insurance before you go take a trip.
Furthermore, it’s uncommon for insurance companies to extend their insurance to a foreign nation. If you were thinking about driving south of the border this summer or visiting our northerly neighbors, you may want to look into getting a short-term insurance plan that covers your trip out of the country. It’s always worth looking at what you are covered for ahead of time, rather than after the fact.
How often should I take a break when driving?
One thing many people forget to do when driving on long trips is to take a break. While this is definitely the simplest thing on this list, it’s seldom remembered or even considered until it’s too late. According to Driving Ergonomics, drivers and passengers on road trips should get up to take a 15 minute break from driving every two hours. In general, sitting down for an excessively long time in any situation can be detrimental to your health.
When it comes specifically to driving, sitting for too long is the least of your worries. Driving excessively can lead to a state of mind known as “highway hypnosis”, where drivers become mesmerized by the road in front of them, feeling sickly, confused, and slow to react to external situations. Whether it’s for your own health, or for others, taking a break from driving is an investment in the well-being of everyone on the road
What can’t I cross state lines with?
GREAT question! Sometimes there is a bit of ambiguity about what someone can and cannot cross state lines with, and when overlooked, it can lead to many sticky situations. If you’re wanting to take a hunting trip, many state laws stress that any rifles or weapons you may have must be unloaded, locked in a container that is not the glove compartment, and out of reach. While there are no laws prohibiting crossing a state border with arms, there are laws concerning how you cross borders.
Additionally, some states (such as Pennsylvania) have laws against transporting alcohol of any quantity into the state. While most people who bring liquor into the state are usually just ticketed, it remains possible to actually go to jail for such an offense in Pennsylvania, and the transportation of even minor amounts of alcohol across many other state lines can cause problems down the road.
It’s good to be aware of the laws concerning anything that could be considered contraband by state governments. While it may seem fine to drive to the beach in the next state over, you never know if packing alcohol could get you in trouble with the law.
Taking a moment to review some overlooked dangers or misfortunes goes a long way – not just with road trips, but with any endeavor. Many times, the most dangerous thing for our well being is the thing we never saw as a threat until it was too late. While some of the things on this list are more forgiving, others could wind you up in jail, or worse.
For more information regarding how to be inSUREd for your upcoming road trip, check with your local insurance agent or find one at BriteBee.com! We hope you found these tips valuable for your next trip, and that when that next trip comes, you’ll make it a great one!
ABOUT CADE SUMMERS
“Hi, I’m Cade! I’m an alternative educator, blogger, marketer, web designer and peanut butter enthusiast. I love finding cool and interesting project to work on, writing, traveling, communicating cool and interesting ideas, and in general helping to innovate the world. I love creating things and going on adventures both big and small!”