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13th August 2021

8 solo road trip safety tips you need to know

In this blog, we give you eight safety tips for when you go on a solo road trip, whether you’re travelling in the UK or further afield.

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Solo travelling can be freeing as it allows you to pick and choose the activities instead of having to decide on activities as a pair or group. However, solo road trips can come with its own dangers. Make sure to follow our solo road trip safety tips to stay safe on the road.

Tip one: Know your limits

You’ll be doing all the driving, so make sure you check in with yourself regularly while you’re driving to gauge your fatigue levels. Take plenty of breaks and don’t be afraid to stop for the night even if you haven’t driven for as long as you wanted. Research suggests that driver fatigue may be a contributory factor in up to 20% of road accidents, so it’s important that you look out for signs of tiredness. Signs include:

  • Head nodding
  • Getting distracted
  • Yawning frequently
  • Heavy eyes
  • Drifting out of your lane
  • Making more mistakes
  • Inconsistent speed

Tip two: Stay in touch with family and friends

Person speaking on the phone with lake in the background
Image source: Timur Repin via Unsplash

Yes, this might be your road trip escape for the year, but it’s a great idea to keep in touch with a family member or friend to let them know where you are. This helps ensure that someone knows your recent location in the event that something does go wrong.

Tip three: Don’t pick up strangers

You might be tempted to pick up someone stranded on the side of the road or at a petrol station, but the safest thing is to avoid picking up strangers. Yes, you might feel bad, but this is a much safer option – especially if you’re travelling solo.

If you’re concerned about the stranded stranger, you could pull over in a safe place and call 999. Let them know the person’s location and they should be able to provide assistance.

Tip four: Explore desolate areas safely

If you fancy a few days in the wilderness, you should prepare well beforehand to stay safe. Make sure you research the region beforehand. You might need to get permission to camp in your chosen area. You should also check whether your phone will have signal – if not, you might want to pack a map and compass for easy navigation.

Make sure you have enough water for the duration of your stay. You can either bring your own or stay by a running stream. Just be sure to boil the water before drinking! It’s also a good idea to take a battery pack for your phone, especially if you’ll be staying in the area for a few days.

Tip five: Try not to keep too much cash on you

It’s important that you don’t keep too much cash on you or in your vehicle, otherwise you might be seen as an easy target. As you’ll likely be stopping at multiple petrol stations and in a number of different towns, you should be able to take out money while you’re on the road so you shouldn’t need to take notes with you on the trip.

Tip six: Keep a good supply of essentials on hand

Person lying down in the back of the car with blankets
Image source: Sam Manns via Unsplash

Make sure that you’ve got a good supply of essentials on hand, including:

  • Blankets
  • Water
  • Snacks
  • A flashlight
  • A Swiss Army Knife

This will help ensure that even if you need to stop off somewhere unexpectedly or your vehicle breaks down, you’ve got everything you need.

Tip seven: Learn a few easy vehicle maintenance skills

Skills like knowing how to change a tyre, how to tell if your gearbox is failing or changing the oil can be great to help solve issues you encounter on your journey. There are plenty of YouTube tutorials to help you learn how to do basic maintenance on your vehicle – or you can always ask someone you know to show you the ropes.

Tip eight: Get breakdown insurance

Nothing can give you more peace of mind than getting breakdown cover. At Sterling Insurance, our breakdown insurance is available from just £29.12 a year. With over 1,800 breakdown recovery specialists across the UK, we offer total coverage and should be able to recover your vehicle wherever you’ve broken down.

We also offer European breakdown cover if you’re planning a road trip further afield.

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