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Top Tips For Safe Road Travel In The Bay Area, California
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Top Tips For Safe Road Travel In The Bay Area, California

Picture of Ramman Kenoun
Updated: 9 February 2017
Vacations and road trips are popular anywhere in the world, and the Bay Area in California is no exception. Stay safe with these important road travel tips.

Check the Meteorological Conditions

It is always far easier to travel when the weather is favorable. Due to the microclimates of the Bay Area, weather conditions can change with very little or even no notice. Therefore, be safe and check the weather forecast before embarking on the journey. If there are reports that the weather may not be cooperative at any point or time in the trip, it’s best to make an attempt to adjust the route to avoid the trouble areas. If possible, avoid any and all unnecessary travel during heavy precipitation or extremely windy conditions. Both of these may make for hazardous driving conditions.

Select a Route with Abundant Services

One of the largest concerns of road travelers is having access to a rest stop or a refill along the way. If the terrain or weather significantly varies, or the hunger pangs suddenly hit, and a traveler finds themselves in a desolate area with nothing for miles, that could make the voyage very inconvenient. It could possibly even make the trip dangerous. If possible, remain on the major highways and interstates that allow easy access to food and fuel. Avoid deviations to side roads as much as possible, as these are often isolated and deserted, with scarce access to required services.

I-5 Rest Area | © Steven Damron/Flickr
I-5 Rest Area | © Steven Damron/Flickr

Pack Essential Gear and Equipment

It is always important to have a contingency plan and to be prepared for any possible scenario. The wise traveler is always well equipped with essential emergency items. Remember to pack different clothes for a variety of weather conditions, as well as food and drinks plus blankets and toiletries. Means of communication, such as a cell phone, weather radios or a GPS tracker, along with plenty of batteries or a car charger are also important. IDs, flashlights, a medical kit, road maps, and auto repair supplies — jumper cables, spare tires, and tire jacks — are necessities as well. Plenty of extra cash is also a good idea.

'Ready to go' preparedness kit | © FEMA Photo Library/WikiCommons
‘Ready to go’ preparedness kit | © FEMA Photo Library/WikiCommons

Have a Reliable Roadside Assistance Service

Sometimes being well prepared and well equipped just isn’t enough. Even the most seasoned travelers and adventurers may occasionally run into unforeseen trouble. Expect the unexpected, especially when voyaging into new places. Enlist the services of a renowned and qualified roadside assistance and towing organization, such as AAA, Allstate Motor Club, or Good Sam. Ensure that the service of choice has a variety of features such as towing, lockout assistance, and car maintenance.

Tow truck with car | © Rasbak/WikiCommons
Tow truck with car | © Rasbak/WikiCommons

Inform Friends and Family of Travel Plans

As the best insurance policy, inform close ones on any travel plans and provide detailed information such as routes, expected departure and arrival times, plus equipment inventories. Offer to call or email upon arrival at the destination. If possible, provide the address and contact information of your destination. Telling friends and significant others about any travel plans will alleviate concerns and may even yield additional helpful advice.