Family Road TripsFamily Road Trips: 5 Tips to Stay Safe

I was recently driving up Highway 285, heading to the mountains for a weekend with my family. I had my awesome wife next to me and my two awesome kids in the back. We were excited to get away together!

Then, out of the blue, a maniac came flying by us on the left, crossing a double yellow line, going at least 20 miles over the speed limit, weaving back and forth around traffic.

Not only did that guy risk his own life, he risked the lives of everyone on the road with him.

Sadly, in Colorado, we see head-on collisions on mountain roads all the time because of people like this. They get upset about the traffic and think that they can gain time (and “beat” other people) by passing unsafely.

Yes, I’m serious. One impatient pass on a blind turn and you’re a headline.

It may seem morbid, but I suggest that, before you get in your car and head out on a family road trip, think about whether you want to arrive safely at your destination or you want to be the Denver Post’s next awful headline: “Entire family killed by head-on collision.”

Yes, I’m serious. One impatient pass on a blind turn and you’re a headline. I certainly never risk that with my family.

Here are 5 tips to help you stay safe during your next family road trip:

  1. Stay calm: Stop thinking about the traffic and start thinking about the fun you’ll have when you arrive. Truly, you will not gain more than a couple of minutes by pressing the gas hard and weaving in and out of traffic. There is simply no point in getting steamed up. (And you’re probably annoying your family.)
  2. Get plenty of sleep: Get your rest before a long day of driving. When your senses are all firing properly, you drive better.
  3. Take breaks: I know the temptation of getting from Point A to Point B as quickly as possible, but it’s important to take breaks when you’re on a long road trip. If you don’t need gas (and you find truck stops gross or depressing), stop at the next “Point of Interest.” Get out, stretch, play a short game of catch with the kids to get your muscles moving. You will ALL travel better afterward.
  4. Go with the flow: So, you hit traffic. So what? Just sit back and remember that you’re just one of the people trying to get someplace else. You’re not so special that you need to get ahead of the others and your destination will still be there if you’re 15, 30 or 60 minutes late. Also, if the traffic is bad and unpredictable, give yourself 10 car lengths between your car and the car ahead.
  5. Remember who you have in your car: Finally, look next to you and in the rearview mirror before speeding up and making any risky moves. Is the risk worth it? Not a chance.

I hope you have a safe road trip this summer!