When going on a road trip requiring long drives, you’ll need to plan for it to make sure you’re prepared to handle getting behind the wheel for extended periods at a time, guaranteeing you and your passenger’s safety.
That said, here are ways to prepare for long drives and road trips, keeping you alert, energized, and safe throughout the journey.
Prepare Yourself to Drive
Never assume that if your car’s in top condition, you don’t need to worry about getting into accidents while on the road. Most road accidents happen thanks to drivers’ negligence and general unpreparedness, so make sure to prepare yourself before getting behind the wheel. These include getting a good sleep the previous night and equipping yourself with the necessary tools.
If you’re taking kids or babies with you during the trip, make sure to have the windows and doors of the car safely closed and have child safety locks. Plus, if you’re going on extended trips that require days of driving, it’s best to polish your driving skills and take up an online DMV defensive driving course. Doing this helps you use safe driving strategies when facing road hazards—ensuring you and your passengers’ safety.
Regularly Maintain Your Vehicle
Whether you’re driving an old car or a comparatively new one, you’ll need to regularly check and maintain its part to keep it in its best condition, helping you better prepare for the long trip ahead. Make sure to inspect, repair, or replace any of the crucial parts beforehand:
- Tires, tire pressure, and spare tires
- Light system, batteries, wipers, and signals
- Oils, coolants, and fluids for the windshield wiper
- Brakes, filters, hoses, caps, and belts
Additionally, you shouldn’t neglect any issues with your cars, no matter how small it is. Many car owners are often overconfident in their driving skills, and this mindset usually leads them to suffer from accidents.
Avoid Overloading Your Vehicle
Always be alert about your car’s weight capacity and avoid overloading it at all costs, including preventing going over the maximum passenger capacity of the vehicle. Besides that, it’s best to avoid storing heavy items under the car’s seats, such as big suitcases or cargo items. Keep your luggage and other bulky items in the trunk.
Plan Rest Stops
To make sure you’re well-rested throughout the trip, you need to plan rest stops early on since you’ll need to ensure you’re in top condition to drive. It’s best to do your research beforehand to know where you can go to rest, saving you time and ensuring comfort.
Prepare for the Unforeseen
Driving for extended periods for days means you’re going to face unforeseen circumstances eventually. Whatever the situation, you’ll need to be alert and ready to tackle it with ease. Ensure you always have tire-changing tools, first-aid boxes, a spare mobile phone, safe drinking water, flashlights, and nonperishable foods with you while on the road.
Besides the actual items themselves, make sure that you, along with your passengers, have the necessary helpline numbers, including police, your insurance company’s, vehicle supplier, and emergency hotlines. They’re the most crucial resources during the time of turbulence on your trips.
Keep Your Passengers Entertained
Long drives with young children can lead to bickering, often leading to driver fatigue. To avoid this and ensure your focus stays on the road, make sure your kids are entertained with whatever time-killing diversions there are, whether it’s books, puzzles, or gadgets.
Use Energizing Scents
When driving long distances, it’s best to keep a source of energizing scents nearby, such as peppermint and other minty aromas. When you feel you’re getting drowsy and need a boost to push through long drives, take a sniff. It’s a great and simple way to reduce your fatigue while increasing alertness while on the road.
Sit Up Straight
Always make sure your seat is adequately adjusted for your body while tilted for max blood flow. If you feel like you’re going to get into a driving trance or highway hypnosis, the altered mental state where you subconsciously drive the car safely without any recollection of doing so, sit up. You can determine if you’re getting into a ‘trance’ by checking out your body for any tension.
These things can help you prepare for long drives and road trips better, keeping you, your passengers, and your car protected while on the road.