With many people choosing to stay off of planes and cruise ships this year, road trips have become popular travel option. While some road trips are not very far at all, others may entail long stretches of driving. Your risk for an automobile accident increases the longer you are on the road. From driver distractions to fatigue, there are many things that could go wrong. Before you leave to go on a road trip, know how to safely drive long distances.
How-to Safely Drive Long Distances: Safety on the Road
Before you head on on a road trip, make you you get plenty of rest. Driving can be exhausting, and you want to make sure you are mentally and physically prepared. When you are behind the wheel, you have to constantly be paying attention, making calculated judgements, and sit in the same position for an extended period of time. If you drive long distances, you should stop and take a 15 minute break from driving every two hours. If you have a passenger with you, you could also alternate between who is driving.
Go ahead and take a break for the night when you start getting tired. Find a place to stay where you can get a good night’s sleep and be refreshed for the next stretch of the drive. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about 100,000 police-reported crashes involve drowsy driving every year. These crashes result in more than 1,550 fatalities and 71,000 injuries. Do not keep driving if you are tired.
Distractions can lead to traffic accidents as well. There are many devices that can distract a driver, including GPS, cell phone. Before starting on your road trip, go ahead and have your GPS set for your next destination. Do not try and program your GPS while you are driving. If you need to do so, just go ahead and pull over to put in the destination. Phones can be a major distraction too. Do not text while driving. If you absolutely must send a message or make a phone call, use a Bluetooth enabled option like Apple Car Play or aftermarket Bluetooth car kit to use your phone hands free.
Talking, whether on the phone or to a passenger, can also be a distraction to drivers. Try to limit or avoid taking phone calls while on the road. Believe it or not, according to federal data, conversations with passengers caused more than half of distracted driving accidents.