Road Trip Safety Tips

Stay Alive on the Road

Whether it's a road trip to the beach during spring break or the annual summer cross-country family trek in the minivan (formerly the station wagon), preparing for safety and first aid should be as important as a good map.

These road trip first aid tips will help you plan for your next overland outing.

Pack the Appropriate First Aid Kit

Fieldtex First Aid Kit
Fieldtex First Aid Kit. Image courtesy of Fieldtex
Bandages for a trip to Grandma's house or enough supplies to do minor surgery in the Outback -- packing the right first aid kit depends entirely on where you're going. Customize your first aid kit to your road trip.

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Learn to Call 911 on Your Cell Phone

Calling on a cell phone after a train derailment
A cell phone is a lifeline to help in any emergency. David McNew/Getty Images
Depending on your location and whether your cell phone is a modern marvel of technology or that off-white brick from the 80s, calling 911 may not work as slick as calling from a phone with wires attaching it to the wall. Know the difference before you visit Yellowstone.

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911 Doesn't Always Add Up

Italian ambulance
Rod Brouhard
If your road trip crosses the border, do you know how to summon an ambulance? 066 will get you the help you need in Mexico. In Canada, emergency phone numbers depend on what part of the country you're visiting. Learn about your destination before you get there.

Be Ready for the Sun

McGun at Flickr
The sun can burn; it can dehydrate, and it can over-hydrate. Know what to expect from those deadly rays.

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Keep Warm

Photo by Anirudh Koul
Not all road trips are taken in warm climates. If you find yourself out in the cold, follow these tips.

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Don't Drink Too Much

Beer Pints
(c) Matt Cardy/Getty Images
First tip, don't drink and drive -- not even a little bit. Second, if you drink too much (or your buddies do), know what to do.

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Learn to Take a Punch

soccer player bloody nose
A player gets treated for his bloody nose. (c) Mark Dadswell/Getty Images
Now that you've gone out and tied one on with the rest of your road trip posse, you're bound to get into some trouble. These tips will you help you lick your wounds (figuratively speaking, of course).

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Don't Drink the Water

water bottle
A few drops of bleach can make your water safe. Biwa Studio / Getty Images
Not feeling too well on the road? It's common for travelers to have upset stomachs.

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Pack Your DEET

mosquito biting
Different parts of the world have different bugs, but they often cause the same kind of bite. Know what to look for and how to treat it.

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Don't Move Your Head!

Good Samaritan helping woman at accident
Rubberball Productions/Getty Images
Crashed the road-trip mobile? Don't move. Read these tips while you're waiting for an ambulance. Of course, how long you have to wait depends on which first aid kit you took from item #1 above.

Make sure you're buckled in when you're on the road. If you have munchkins in the car, see to it that they have a proper car seat.

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