Safe driving tips before you hit the road this Memorial Day weekend

Memorial Day kicks off America’s favorite travel season, and this weekend, an estimated 34 million of us will hit the pavement in search of some long-awaited sunshine and quality time with family and friends. That’s right. More than 10 percent of the entire U.S. population will be traversing our roads. So, how can you have a safe, happy journey this Memorial Day weekend? We’ve already shared our top 10 must-haves for an awesomely memorable summer road trip. But there’s more to it than just what you have in the car.

Gas up a day early

Don’t be the guy who runs out of gas and needs rescuing in 90-degree heat while the family (quite literally) sits fuming in the back. Filling up the tank the day before will not only give you peace of mind but it will also help you beat the morning rush.

Pack the car the night before

This mostly saves time (and your sanity) when it’s time to depart. Pack everything you can in the car the night before. Leave room for last-minute items like toiletries, your kids, and the family pets to load up at the time of departure.

Leave early (like, before sunrise early)

This is the key to missing the dreadful traffic along the I-95/I-85 corridor (or other major thoroughfares across the country). Leaving early is almost 100 percent contingent upon the car being packed and ready to go. Pop by your local drive-thru coffee shop to “fuel up” and you’ll be ready for a breakfast pit stop in three or four hours.

Image credit:  Ron Sessions

Image credit: Ron Sessions

Put your phone away

Connect your phone to your vehicle’s Bluetooth system and stow it away. If your car is on the older side and doesn’t have this capability, then you can purchase an aftermarket device, such as hum by Verizon. The tool not only provides Bluetooth capabilities for phone calls, but it also connects you with emergency and roadside assistance and allows you to talk to a live mechanic through the mechanics hotline feature if your dashboard starts lighting up.

Be a defensive driver

It’s so critical to be aware of your surroundings when on a long road trip. Continue to check your mirrors and know which vehicles are around you. Use turn signals when changing lanes and remember to move over for officers and vehicles pulled off to the side of the road. Leave plenty of distance between you and the cars in front.

Be mindful of motorcyclists

Speaking of being a defensive driver, Memorial Day weekend is also huge for motorcyclists. Keep an eye out for these two-wheeled companions, whether they’re traveling solo or in a group. Don’t always expect to be able to “hear” them even when you can’t see them. If there’s a motorcyclist nearby, then make sure to locate him or her before making your next move.

Following these simple steps should put you well on your way to a fantastic Memorial Day weekend trip. What other tips would you share? Tweet them to us at @BeCarChic on Twitter and tag us using #humBCC!

2017 Hyundai Elantra Limited Landscape

Disclaimer: This post is one of several articles part of a paid partnership with hum by Verizon. Our partnership focuses on driver safety, broadening the general awareness of Verizon’s hum product, and at times, will feature Verizon subject matter experts. Those articles will be denoted with an author by-line and this disclosure statement. Social media posts promoting the published articles in this series will be accompanied by the #humBCC and #sponsored hashtags.

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Melanie Batenchuk founded Be Car Chic in 2009 as a way to help consumers make smart decisions when buying and selling their cars. Her prior work at the dealership, trade association and manufacturer levels has provided her a deep understanding of the complex facets within the auto industry, making her a leading woman in her field.