Long Distance Driving Tips

“Drive safe!” by Robert Molinarius

As fun as a road trip can be, there are certain steps you should take to make sure that you remain alert and safe. With a little bit of preparation and common sense, you’ll be all set for your next trip.

Get Plenty of Rest

It’s more important than you may realize to get a good night’s sleep. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about 100,000 car crashes annually are caused by tired drivers. Try to get to bed early the night before you leave for your trip. You’ll be more alert and have a better attitude.  Don’t start your trip in the middle of the night after you’ve slept half the night, you’re more apt to drift back to sleep when it gets a bit monotonous; no amount of “fresh air” blowing into your window will help!

Have Your Car Checked

You should always visit a mechanic before driving for a long distance. Let the mechanic know that you’re leaving for a road trip so that he can inspect your car thoroughly. You may need to have your oil changed, tires inspected and brake and wiper fluids leveled off.

Spare Tire And Car Jack

It’s always a good idea to have a spare tire and car jack in your car. You could hit a pothole or some kind of object in the road that flattens your tire. If you don’t know how to change a tire, you could either call a tow truck or get someone to pull over and help you, but at least you would have the necessary supplies.

Jumper Cables

What would happen if you spent the night at a motel during your trip and forgot to turn off the lights inside of your car? You’d have a dead battery and would have to figure out a way to recharge it. By having a set of jumper cables, you just need to find someone else with a car to give you a helping hand — not a big stretch while traveling! 🙂

Day Driving

Asleep at the Wheel by Kate Sumbler

It’s wisest to do the majority of your driving during the day. Having the sunlight obviously helps you to see more of your surroundings, and you may even feel more awake while driving. Remember that you’ll probably be driving on unfamiliar roads, so you need every advantage that you can get, including sunlight.

Avoid Large Meals

Do you know the feeling that you have after eating a large meal? It tends to make you feel lazy and tired. Instead of eating big meals, you should try to eat smaller snacks throughout the day. You could prepare some food before leaving for the trip, like sliced fruit, trail mix or anything that’s easy to eat in the car. Bring plenty of bottled water, just in case you break down.

Turn Off Cruise Control

Have you ever been driving for a period of time and actually forgotten that you were driving? When you turn on cruise control, you sometimes lose your focus and become less alert. You might check your glove compartment, look for a CD or glance in your rear-view mirror while talking to someone in the back seat. To avoid this, turn off the cruise control and keep your focus on the road.

Take Turns Driving

If you’re driving with your spouse or a friend, there’s no reason why you can’t take turns driving. This is a great chance for you to sit back and relax instead of worrying about the road. Driving for long distances can be stressful, so you have to take time to “recharge your batteries” before getting behind the wheel again.

Following these tips can help to make your next road trip safer and more enjoyable. Preparation is important, so make sure that you’re well rested and that your car is running properly before leaving. You should be prepared for an emergency, and you also need to take care of your body so that it’s ready for the long trip. Be safe, have fun and enjoy the ride!

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