Long Distance Driving – Staying Safe

It has been proven that driving for long periods of time can cause fatigue. Follow these tips to stay safe when driving long distances.


1. Stay hydrated and eat regularly.

Drinking water

It is important to remain hydrated on a long trip as this will keep you alert. Drink water, not fizzy drink. Beverages that are high in sugar can actually dehydrate you.

Driving on an empty stomach can also cause fatigue and reduce your awareness. When you are hungry, pull over and purchase  something to eat. Use the opportunity to relax and take a break from driving.

 

2. Don’t drive while you are sleepy.

It can be argued that driving while drowsy is just as dangerous as driving while drunk. When you become tired, your reaction time is reduced and you are more likely to make mistakes. You may also experience the feeling of trying to keep your eyes open, when they just want to shut. If you feel tired, don’t hesitate to pull over and have a rest somewhere where you feel safe.

3. Exit your vehicle and go for a walk.

Exiting your vehicle and walking for ten minutes can prevent discomfort, clear your mind and prevent blood clots in your legs. Take brief stops in towns on the way to your destination. This will give you a chance to look around, stretch your legs, use the bathroom and buy some food or refreshments.

 

4. Bring a friend and take turns driving.

If you have a long drive ahead of you, consider bringing a friend who knows how to drive. Taking turns driving will allow you to have a well-deserved break when you need to. This will reduce fatigue and improve safety.

We recommend switching drivers every two hours or whenever tiredness starts to settle in.

 

5. Make sure the vehicle is mechanically sound.

Car service

Avoid the stress of having your vehicle break down halfway through your journey. Check your vehicle for any faults or damage before embarking on your trip. Getting your car towed can be very expensive, especially if you are far away from home.

If you are doubtful about the health of your vehicle, we suggest that you bring your vehicle in for a pre-holiday check.

 

6. Bring a source of entertainment.

A good source of entertainment will make the drive go by quicker. Whether it’s a newly updated Spotify playlist, an audiobook or the company of friends, the drive will be much more enjoyable if you have something to occupy yourself with.

Having a quality source of entertainment will keep you alert and awake throughout the journey, improving your mood and reducing tiredness.

 

7. Don’t let your fun run too low.

fuel consumption

Having your vehicle run out of fuel can be stressful and difficult to deal with when you are far away from a gas station. Use Google to find out the distance of your journey and refill your car accordingly.

 

8. Bring a phone charger.

It is important that in the event of an accident, you are able to use your phone to contact someone. Bring a car phone charger with you to keep your battery at a healthy level.

 

9. Drive responsibly.

Follow these tips to keep yourself and your passengers safe at higher speeds.

  • Don’t speed excessively – As well as using more gas, it will create safety risks, especially if you (the driver) are already tired.
  • Slow down for corners – For a safe, smooth driving experience, take corners slowly, especially if you can’t see what is on the other side.
  • Use passing lanes responsibly – Take note as to how much of the passing lane is left. Don’t cut in front of people at the last minute.
  • Drive to the conditions – Take extra care if it is raining. Wear sunglasses on bright days.
Matthew O'Connor

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