College visit season is upon us and you probably have long lists of questions that you need answered from each potential college. The fall is a convenient time for high school seniors to visit colleges because they haven’t received a bevy of schoolwork yet.
Visiting colleges can be an exciting and adventurous, but you need to consider a few safety tips before you hit the road with your teen. Below are several safety considerations you need to think about as you get ready to visit a university:
The Condition of Your Vehicle
The last thing you want happen while you are visiting colleges is for your car to breakdown. Nearly 10% of drivers taking a trip don’t know how to check tire pressure. If you are one of them, you should learn how to check tire pressure. This can prevent you from getting a flat tire while you are on the way to a college visit. You can also have a mechanic look over your vehicle to make sure there are no mechanical or structural issues with your car.
You can opt to check the condition of your car instead of consulting a mechanic as well. A few things that you should check include:
- The oil level of your car by removing the dipstick from the engine
- All of the fluids in your vehicle such as engine coolant, brake fluid, transmission fluid, and windshield wiper fluid
- The condition of wiper blades
- Belts and hoses
- Tire pressure and tread
- Battery terminals
- Whether all of your headlights, taillights, and turn signals work
Driving with Distractions
In today’s cell-phone driven world, it can be easy to lose your focus while you drive. You must fight the urge to look at your phone while you drive because it only takes a few seconds to get into a severe car crash. You must ensure the safety of you and your teen while you drive. Avoid talking on your cell phone, getting into emotional conversations with your teen, texting, fiddling with the GPS or radio, and looking out the window while you drive.
A distracted driving accident will not only end your road trip, but it may also cause you or your teen to sustain severe injuries. Conversations and phone calls can wait. You should pull over if you need to focus on your phone or other distractions.
Driving in an Unfamiliar Area
You will most likely travel through unfamiliar areas on the way to a college visit. The climate and the roads may be a lot different than what you’re used to. You might be coming from a small town into a big city or vice versa. Plan out your route ahead of time to avoid getting lost.
Wherever you go, pay attention to the speed limit. You should also be aware of the possibility that other drivers may be impatient with you because you are driving slow in an unfamiliar area. You may encounter aggressive drivers, but you shouldn’t engage with other angry or aggressive drivers. It’s also a good idea to keep an emergency kit in your car in case you do get into an accident or have an unexpected injury.
Drive defensively and with complete focus. Do everything in your power to drive safely and responsibly during this memorable time with your teenager. Enjoy your road trip!