Planning for your next trip? Whether you’re heading to the village with the kids or driving for business, don’t leave home without our tried and tested driving tips. Read on to learn more about safety tips for long distance drive.
1. Before beginning a long drive, always get enough sleep and eat a snack or meal. Highly caffeinated beverages are not necessarily the best way to stay awake while driving. While initially you will feel more alert, the effects can recede with time, and your attention may wander although you remain awake.
2. Pull over and take breaks every couple of hours, even if you don’t feel sleepy. Grab a snack, get some fresh air and stretch your legs by walking around. If you need to, take a quick nap.
3. If you can, share the driving responsibilities with someone else. This will allow you to keep an eye on each other while driving and also enable you to nap without losing time. If you’re driving alone, turn on the radio or put on some music, and keep your window cracked open. You may want to refrain from using your cruise control if you’re driving alone at night — having to concentrate on maintaining your speed can help you stay awake.
4. If you do have to pull over, move your vehicle off the road. Never park on the shoulder or in the breakdown lane for any reason except an emergency
5. If you don’t know this one, shame on you. Never drink any alcohol before your trip. While you may not become intoxicated from one beer, you will become sleepy
6. Use a smartphone app such as Waze or Google Maps to guide you around traffic jams.
7. Not even a GPS app is infallible, especially in remote areas, so we recommend bringing a detailed map or road atlas as a backup just in case.
8. If you are driving a rental vehicle, familiarize yourself with the car and all of its equipment (horn, brakes, hazard lights). For an amusing but true look at this issue, (we highly recommend Jautos)
9. Familiarize yourself with local traffic laws, which vary from state to state and especially overseas. Is it legal to make a right turn at a red light? What are the rules on yielding to pedestrians?
10. Before setting off on a long car trip, be sure your vehicle is in prime condition — that tires are properly inflated, all fluids are at their proper levels and you have a full tank of fuel. (For particularly long road trips, you may want to have your mechanic do a more thorough check.)
11. Keep costs down by conserving fuel as you drive. Minimize sudden starts and stops, empty your car of all unnecessary weight, and slow down — in most cars it takes much less fuel to drive 55 miles an hour than it does to drive 70.
12. Don’t wait until your fuel gauge is sitting on E to refuel. On an unfamiliar road, you never know when the next fuel station will appear. As soon as you hit a quarter of a tank, start looking for a place to fill up.
13. When traveling with kids, be sure to stop often — not just for snacks and potty breaks, but also for fun. See a cool playground along the way? Pull over and throw a Frisbee around. You’ll also want to pack toys, books and music for the car — not to mention your motion sickness remedy of choice.
14. On longer trips, keep napkins, plasticware and a small cooler handy for meals on the go. You’ll also want some spare change for tolls, as well as a first-aid kit, flashlight, pillow and blanket. Keep a set of jumper cables, a spare tire or donut, and extra fluids for the car (such as windshield wiper fluid) in your trunk.
15. This last tip should go without saying, but it’s important enough that we’ll say it anyway: Make sure everyone in the car buckles his or her seatbelt. Not only will it keep you safe, but in most places it’s also the law.
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