The road trip trend gained popularity in the US amid the pandemic when air travel was halted due to the virus. Even when air travel services resumed, crowded airports and jam-packed flights were not the safest. Road trips emerged as a safe, flexible, and cost-effective option. Not surprisingly, 80% of travelers prefer this form of travel even after the pandemic.
Winter road trips are as popular as summer journeys, but you need to be extra safety-conscious at this time of the year. Your route matters even more because states like Missouri bear harsh conditions, with negative temperatures being common. The coldest temperature ever recorded in the state will chill your bones as Warsaw recorded a record low of –40 °F on February 13, 1905.
If you are planning a long-distance road trip during the upcoming winter in Missouri, you should follow a few actionable tips. Here is some valuable safety advice you can rely on:
Check the Weather Forecasts
Digging deep into weather forecasts should be on top of your road trip checklists in winter. After a brutal July heat wave, the 2023 winter in Missouri is likely to be cold and snowy. The Old Farmer’s Almanac predicts a longer season for the state.
While the prediction shouldn’t keep you from enjoying the stunning sights along the roads, you can be safer by timing your trip right. The holidays are the best time to travel in the state because January and February tend to be harsher. But more traffic on the highways can make them riskier.
Check your dates with your travel buddies and decide on the ideal time by checking Google for forecasts. Also, be flexible to accommodate last-minute changes due to unpredictable snow and rain.
Know the Road Risks
Missouri isn’t the safest state when it comes to road accidents. Statistics show that traffic fatalities for the third consecutive year in 2022, with more than 1,028 deaths in road mishaps. Trucking accidents are a bigger concern on highways because these big vehicles can cause severe injuries and death.
In April 2023, St. Louis witnessed a horrific accident in which three police officers sustained injuries in a multi-vehicle accident involving police cars and a semi-truck. The driver was later arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated.
Evidently, this part of the country has a fair share of road risks drivers should be aware of. You should also know your legal rights to get compensation if the worst happens during your winter road trip. If you get injured due to a negligent driver in the St. Louis area, hiring a St. Louis truck accident lawyer should be your first step after getting medical aid.
According to TorHoerman Law, letting a local lawyer handle your case is a wise move. They know the state-specific laws and statute of limitations. There is hardly a chance of missing out on the compensation you deserve with a well-rounded case according to the local requirements.
Another piece of advice you cannot overlook is to be ready for the road. This one applies to all road trippers, regardless of the season, route, and destination.
Here is a checklist to prepare for a road trip:
- Start with a comprehensive service and maintenance of your vehicle. Pay attention to the condition of parts, oil levels, tires, and the heating system. The lights should be strong enough to cut through the fog and ensure good visibility. Switching to winter tires provides better traction on slippery roads.
- Ensure that your fuel levels are well above half of the tank as it prevents the freezing of gas in sub-zero temperatures.
- Carry an emergency kit with warm clothing, blankets, extra batteries, non-perishable food, and water. You should be prepared to handle the situation if your car breaks down in the middle of nowhere. Training on the basic repairs is also a great idea.
- Plan your route wisely, ensuring several stops and breaks for rest, refueling, and staying if a snowstorm hits. Stay informed about alternative routes if something goes amiss with the current one.
Commit to Safe Driving
Nothing matters more than safe driving during a winter road trip. You may choose the safest route and follow the essential rules, but things can go wrong if you fail to drive safely. Slow down on slippery roads, maintain an adequate distance from other vehicles, and avoid drinking or texting behind the wheel. Also, keep your attention on the road at all times. Stick with day driving only and take breaks when you need them.
A little extra caution and commitment to safety can help you have the best winter road trip in Missouri. By following these tips, you can enjoy the stunning views and beautiful weather, regardless of the snow and rain.