Road trips can be a lot of fun—whether you’re seeing the country or simply getting away for the weekend. However, long trips can also be dangerous. It’s important to do everything you can do drive smart, keeping yourself, your passengers, and your vehicle safe at all times.
Here are a few ways you can make safety the top priority, even when you’re on the road for long stretches.
How to Drive Safely on Long Road Trips
- First and foremost, don’t drive when you’re tired. We recommend that you avoid starting a trip late at night or in the wee hours of the morning. Instead, get plenty of rest, and make sure you eat some nutritious food and drink some water before you head out.
- A word about caffeine: Stopping for a cup of coffee can sometimes be smart if you feel like your energy is flagging. Just remember that caffeine’s effects are temporary. It can help you stay awake for a while, but ultimately your attention will start to wane again.
- Even in the age of GPS, it’s prudent to know where you are going before you leave. Take some time to review your route and be aware of any alternate routes you might take—for example, if you run into traffic delays or road work.
- Distracted driving is the single biggest cause of accidents. Keep your mind and your eyes on the road at all times! Get your GPS and your music set up before you leave, and put your phone out of reach so you’re not distracted by text messages. Ideally, you’ll have a passenger who can handle all your phone stuff for you—changing music, etc.
- We recommend that you pull over for a snack, a drink of water, or simply to stretch your legs every two to three hours. Do this even if you don’t feel like you “need” it. Take a good 10 minutes or so to simply walk around and get blood circulating. This is important for keeping your energy level up.
- Be aware of the weather! While there’s no way to know 100 percent what the weather’s going to be like, it’s wisest to look at the forecast and try planning your trip around rain or snow. If you must drive in bad weather, remember to reduce your speed.
- Make vehicle maintenance a top priority. Before you embark on any long road trip, make sure you check your oil levels and your tire pressure, and also be sure that you are up to date on any routine maintenance needs.
- Don’t wait until your gas level is at E to refuel—especially if you’re in a remote area where gas stations are fewer and further between! Always stop for gas before your tank gets down to the quarter marker, if possible.
Be Smart and Safe on Your Next Road Trip
Enjoy your next long road trip—but also stay safe. To learn more about safe driving tactics, connect with Get My Auto on Facebook today!