If you love driving your car, then you likely love road trips. Traveling by car is not only a great way to get miles under your tires, but it’s an awesome way to bond with friends and family. Unlike air travel, road trips can be very spontaneous – and typically much less expensive.

As with any type of travel, though, it’s important to be smart and safe during a road trip. So, before you set out on your next big adventure, consider these things:

1. Don’t Advertise That You’re Leaving Town.

It’s tempting to leave messages on your blog, Twitter or Facebook, that you’ll be out of town. However, it’s not always wise. That information is broadcast to hundreds of people—and could just open you up for trouble while you’re gone.

2. Check Your Car Before You Leave.

Make sure everything is healthy: brakes, battery, tire pressure, fluid levels, and headlights. Fill up the gas tank and stock the glove compartment with a first aid kit and flashlight. Bring along jumper cables, flares and blankets in case of an emergency.

3. Know the Rules of the Road.

If you plan to travel across multiple states, make yourself aware of the traffic laws in each of those states. Many states have seat belt laws (it’s always best to wear it regardless), and speed limits can change as you cross state borders. Be aware of the rules so you don’t find yourself dealing with unnecessary problems.

4. Watch for our Furry Friends.

Animals are most active in the early morning and at dusk. So, if you’re traveling through rural or mountainous areas, especially, be on the lookout for animal crossing signs.

Good luck on your next road trip adventure… and be safe!

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