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Our family spends a lot of time taking road trips up and down the east coast. A disabled car or accident, while your kids are in the car, can frazzle even the most seasoned driver.
Being prepared in case anything bad happens during your family road trip will keep you from being unnecessarily worried in an already stressful situation.
Pack an emergency kit with supplies for your family road trip
Every mom knows that you need to have certain supplies on hand when you’re traveling with kids. If your car is disabled, it’s important to have snacks, water, an emergency blanket, and a first aid kit.
Depending on your children’s ages, you may also need a change of clothes and diapers. Wipes and a trash bag come in handy no matter the age of your family members.
Keep a dedicated car charger for your phone
The most valuable piece of safety equipment in your car is your phone. You can use it to call for help, to send your location, and to take pictures or look up information in case of an accident.
But, none of this does any good if your battery is dead. Keep a dedicated phone charger in your car to give your phone a boost if necessary.
Keep updated copies of paperwork in the glove box for your family road trip
Make sure you have the latest copies of the vehicle registration and current proof of insurance card. Even if you’re not driving, you should always carry some sort of identification like a driver’s license, and your health insurance card.
Input critical health information into your phone
Lawyers recommend you enable the emergency contact feature of your phone.
In case you’re incapacitated, first responders will have emergency contact information for you and your kids. Enter current medications, conditions, and health details in the Health section of your iPhone.
You should also know how to access a copy of your most recent HIPAA form so hospital employees can contact your spouse or designated agent if necessary.
Know if you have a spare tire and how to get to it
The most common issue you can experience while driving is a flat tire. Most modern cars don’t come with a full-size spare tire.
Before you pack everyone into your car for a fun family road trip, check the owner’s manual to see what size spare you have and where it’s located. If it looks like your luggage will block access to your jack and spare tire, have a plan for unloading and reloading your cargo if necessary.
Stay buckled in the car if the car is disabled
There is nothing scarier than standing on the side of a highway with cars driving past. If you have flares or emergency reflectors, place them and get back in the car as quickly as possible.
Reports indicate that fatal accidents are most common for pedestrians between the ages of 20-34. The wind-generated from a passing car can easily knock you over if you are changing a tire or checking fluids. Highway vehicle speeds increase both the likelihood of being struck by a car and the severity of the injury.
Even experienced travelers on a short trip can struggle without the right supplies. With a wealth of family road trip experience, I wouldn’t leave the house without these important things.
Make sure you’re prepared to handle anything that comes your way so you can keep stress at a minimum every time you hop in the car.
Krystle Cook – the creator of Home Jobs by MOM – put her psychology degree on a shelf and dived into a pile of diapers and dishes instead. She is a wife and mother to two rambunctious boys, sweating it out in her Texas hometown. She loves cooking, DIY home projects, and family fun activities.