Off for that annual drive across the country? Whether it’s to visit Grandma with the family or to go on that long anticipated weekend getaway with your buddies, you shouldn’t hit the road without reading these 10 safe driving tips to make sure you get to your destination on time and of course, in one piece.
1. A decent meal and a good night’s sleep are necessary if you are set to stay behind the wheel for a long drive. Loading up on more than your usual caffeine fix isn’t necessary. While you may feel alert at first, the effects could easily crash down later.
2. Pull over and take some breaks from time to time, even if you aren’t that tired yet. Step out and stretch, enjoy the scenery along the way or even take a quick nap.
3. Never pull over just anywhere, make sure the area is safe or off the road. Only park on the breakdown lane when it is absolutely necessary.
4. If possible, take turns driving with your road trip companions so you don’t over exhaust yourself.
This way you can rest without losing time getting to your destination.
5. If you’re driving solo, turn up the radio and sing along to the song or open a window to allow some fresh air in. Taking these simple measures will help you stay awake.
6. Avoid using your cell phone when driving. Although laws on legality of cell phone use may change from state to state, it’s always a better option to not use your phone or opt for a hands-free device. The idea is to not let talking or texting keep your eyes off the road.
7. Never drink and drive! Although this is common knowledge, an increasing number of accidents happen due to intoxicated drivers. Stay off the alcohol, even if it doesn’t get you drunk, it will surely get you drowsy.
8. Do some research online or listen to the radio for some traffic updates, particularly when bound for major cities or tourist destinations. Also check the weather beforehand. Doing this can prepare you for what lies ahead or give you the chance to find an alternate route.
9. It’s a great idea to take a road atlas or a detailed map even if you have a GPS or a mapping application on your phone. These devices may get destroyed, lose service or simply have errors. Having a paper version may be more reliable.
10. Before hitting the road, always make sure your vehicle is in tip-top shape. Ensure all the fluids are at the right levels, gas tank is filled up and tires are properly inflated. For long haul drives, have a mechanic inspect your car prior to leaving.