Safety Tips During A Long Drive

Safety Tips During A Long Drive

Whenever you have a long drive coming, you can count on an increased risk of danger, just by the fact that you’ll be obliged to be on the road for a longer period of time and will be exposed to a greater number of risks. 

For one thing, people are much more prone to developing driver fatigue when they’re forced to stay behind the wheel for hours at a time, and this will always drive up the risk factor. 

Fortunately, there are some tips you can keep in mind that will help you to stay alert on long drives and increase the chances that you’ll get home safe and sound. Some of the best tips are described below.

Safety Tips During A Long Drive

1. Don’t Start A Long Drive When You’re Already Tired

The cardinal rule for making long drives is that you should never begin one when you are already tired. It will literally be impossible to give your full attention to your own vehicle, the traffic situation, and other drivers on the road if you’re not totally alert. 

The fact that you are beginning a long drive tired also makes it much more likely that you might involuntarily need to doze off.

Even a few seconds of distraction is enough to involve you in a serious vehicle accident, and statistics abundantly point up the fact that sleeping at the wheel can be a major problem on the highways. 

Anytime you know you have a long drive coming up, one of your most important preparatory steps should be to get a good night’s sleep the night before, so you’re not starting out on a long journey in a dangerously fatigued state of mind.

2. Bring at least one other passenger

Some people are cautious when picking up hitchhikers on the road, and it will be helpful to take extra care because this may endanger your life.

If it comes in handy, you can check, where you can find people with criminal records. While other people opt to bring their family or friends, it will be very helpful to have at least one other person in the car with you when you know you have a long drive ahead of you.

Your passenger can keep you engaged with conversation, can help you with driving directions, and can even take over the driving duties for a while, so you can get some rest.

One other important role that your passenger can play is to simply prompt you when it looks like you’re getting a little dozy, to make sure that you stay awake and keep your eyes on the road. 

If you can bring along another experienced driver, that will be even better because you can take turns driving, so as to reduce the strain on either one of you. With two alert drivers in the vehicle, it becomes much more likely that you’ll both arrive safely at the destination.

3. Take frequent breaks

Some people are always anxious to get to the destination, and for that reason deem it important to accomplish the entire drive without stopping along the way. While this might get you where you’re going a little faster, it’s a much more dangerous approach to take on a long drive. 

The longest you should drive without taking a break is around two hours, and most interstate highways and expressways will have rest areas sprinkled all along their length, so you’ll have plenty of places to stop.

It’s a good idea to stretch your legs as well, so you don’t get cramped up from sitting in the same position for hours at a time. You might also want to get a snack or purchase a cup of coffee to ensure that you stay alert for the next stretch of driving. 

The point is, it’s a bad idea to try to make a long drive all in one stretch, and there’s certainly no shame in taking frequent breaks to make sure you stay awake and are alert the entire time.

4. Listen to the radio

If you don’t have a passenger accompanying you in your vehicle, it’s a good idea to have the radio playing in the background. 

Make sure that you don’t allow the music to interfere with your alertness or your ability to operate the vehicle, but some background noise can be very helpful in keeping you alert and focused on the traffic situation.

Some drivers also like to listen to audiobooks or tapes so as to provide some entertainment during long trips or commutes. This helps them to maintain their focus and it keeps them alert for driving. 

Just don’t blast your radio to the point where you can’t hear yourself think, or so that it becomes a major distraction for you that overwhelms your primary objective, which is driving safely.

5. Use a GPS device

Most GPS devices offer functionality that helps you with driving by providing step by step instructions using an automated voice.

This is especially helpful if you don’t have any passengers with you, because the speaker from the GPS system will help you to stay alert, while also keeping you on the correct route towards your destination.

If you happen to make a mistake while driving, your GPS device will reroute your vehicle and get you back on track at the earliest possible juncture. Granted, there can be long stretches of highway where you won’t hear anything at all from your GPS system, so you may want to keep your radio on as well. 

If your long drive is on an interstate highway, you could literally travel hundreds of miles on the same road, so it’s best to have an alternative like radio to back up your GPS system.

6. Have a snack or a coffee

When you have a very long drive to make, it can be a good idea to break up the seemingly endless hours with some kind of distraction or some kind of activity. 

Something as simple as chewing gum, munching on a granola bar, or chewing some trail mix might provide you with a good boost of energy, without becoming a big distraction during your drive.

Of course, your focus has to be on the traffic situation and on the road itself, so you should not attempt snacking if you can’t do both equally well. Many experienced drivers have had the opportunity to eat snacks in the car and sometimes entire meals, so if you have this kind of experience, it will be to your advantage to have a snack of some kind. 

A cup of strong coffee can do wonders for picking up your alertness, and preparing you for another stretch of driving.

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