Traveling is a wonderful experience, whether it's for vacation, work or visiting family. While traveling can be fun, you always want to make sure you have a travel plan — you don't want to find yourself stranded on the side of the road with no idea what to do next!

You should also take the proper safety precautions while traveling. Whether you're driving, flying or taking the bus or train, following relevant safety tips will ensure you have the best travel experience possible. Before your next trip, be sure to read through our best tips for driving safely in Central Pennsylvania and beyond!

Planning for Your Next Trip

Improving your travel safety is as simple as doing a little extra planning. By following these tips, you can make sure you're traveling safer than ever before:

  • Get a good night's rest: Getting enough sleep the night before a road trip is often low on people's to-do lists, but it is a crucial element to having a safe trip. There were nearly 700 deaths from drowsy-driving incidents in 2019 alone — the majority of which could have been prevented by an adequate amount of sleep the night before. Not getting enough sleep is one of the biggest dangers of driving that is within your power to prevent.
  • Check your vehicle before getting on the road: You don't want to get into an accident because of your own car maintenance issues. If you're going on a long trip, be sure to check your tires, brakes, engine and headlights and taillights — if anything isn't working correctly, see a mechanic right away.
  • Check the weather: Make sure you know what weather you'll be driving into during your trip and plan accordingly. If you know it's going to rain a lot and you haven't changed your windshield wiper blades in the past six to 12 months, consider buying new wiper blades. If you know there will be a lot of snow on your route, consider changing your travel plans to accommodate the hazardous weather. If you must drive in the snow, check out the next tip for best snow driving practices.
  • Stay safe in the snow: In Central Pennsylvania, a common hazard facing travelers is the heavy snows that accompany winter. If it is absolutely necessary to drive in the snow, always drive slowly, ensure your tires are properly inflated and have good tread, keep a cold-weather kit in your vehicle and accelerate and decelerate slowly.
  • Review your route before you leave: Even though we live in the age of GPS technology, it's still important to review your route before you start driving. There might be some confusing areas that will be easier to figure out in the safety of your own home rather than when you're going 55 mph down a highway. Similarly, there may be areas of your route where gas stations or rest stops are few and far between, so knowing when to stop for restrooms or filling up your gas tank is crucial.
  • Break up the trip: A great tip for more alert driving is to break up your trip. Take a break to walk around, get a drink of water or have a snack. If possible, rotate drivers to keep a fresh pair of eyes behind the wheel.

Tips for Potential Emergencies

Even if you're well-prepared for a trip, you still might find yourself in a vehicle-related emergency. If you do find yourself facing any of these situations, follow these emergency travel tips for Pennsylvania and beyond to help ensure your safety:

  • Bad weather: The best solution for facing hazardous weather is to simply not drive. If you must drive, make sure you do so slowly and with caution, with plenty of following distance. If there is an accident resulting from bad weather, call 911 immediately if there are injuries.
  • Car breaks down: If your car breaks down, immediately move your vehicle to a safe place on the side of the road and turn on your hazard lights to increase your visibility to other drivers.
  • Popped tire: If your tire pops while you're traveling, do not immediately slam the brakes. Instead, grasp the steering wheel firmly, take your foot off the gas, and let your car slow down on its own. Let the car roll to the side of the road, then use the brakes lightly to slow to a stop. Turn on your hazard lights.
  • Brake failure: If you notice your brakes have failed while driving, don't panic. Try your brakes again, with strong, consistent pressure. If that doesn't work, then your front and rear brakes have both failed, and it's time to slow down a different way. Make sure to keep your foot off the gas pedal as you slowly engage the emergency brake and shift into a lower gear. As you roll to a stop, get your car to the side of the road, where you can turn on your hazard lights.

Hopefully, you won't run into any of these situations on your next trip — but if you do, AAA is here to help. Once you've gotten safely off the road, you can call for AAA's roadside assistance, and our technicians will arrive to help you. Whether you need to replace a flat tire or get a new car battery or you've run out of gas or need your car towed, AAA's roadside assistance has you covered.

Can You Create Travel Plans Through AAA?

The easiest way to ensure a safe trip is to plan through AAA. With travel agents, maps and an online trip-planning feature, AAA has everything you need to ensure a safe travel experience.

 

TripTik

AAA TripTik is the best way to plan your next road trip. Available on your computer or on mobile, TripTik makes it easy to plan every aspect of your trip in a single spot. View maps, get turn-by-turn directions and enter up to 25 additional stops for every trip you take.

Along with directions, TripTik allows you to find restaurants, gas stations, hotels and other stops throughout your route. Gas stations are listed along with fuel grades and prices, giving you the best information to determine where to stop. You can also find nearby attractions and events to add to your trip, and if you're traveling with your pet, TripTik can even help you find pet-friendly hotels.

Travel Agents

If you're looking for a more large-scale trip, AAA's experienced Travel Agents are available to help you plan your vacation. When you connect with a Travel Agent, they will assist you before, during and after your trip — if you have questions or problems, you can go to them.

Travel Agents help you plan your routes and timelines, personalize your vacations and give you insider tips to make sure you have the best travel experience possible. To get that personal touch for your travel plans, talk to one of our Travel Agents today!

Maps and Travel Guides

Along with the TripTik Travel Planner and our team of experienced Travel Agents, AAA offers many more resources to make it as easy as possible to plan your next trip. We offer up to 400 up-to-date maps, which can be downloaded or printed out at your convenience. We also offer TourBooks and Travel Guides, which you can use to find exciting attractions, build itineraries and get an inside look at your destination.

Plan Your Next Trip With AAA

As one of the nation's leading travel agencies, AAA is the best place to plan your next trip. Whether you need to build an itinerary, find interesting destinations or simply don't know where to begin planning, AAA can help.

As you embark on your road trip, be sure to follow our safety tips to ensure safe traveling in Pennsylvania and across the United States. Should you find yourself in a situation requiring auto help, join AAA, and our emergency roadside assistance is only a phone call away!

For more information and travel tips, check out our blog.

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