If you are planning a long journey, you should always put safety first. Whether you are going on a road trip or you are travelling for other reasons, making sure that your car is capable, knowing where you are going and where you can take breaks is key to your success.
Driver tiredness is one of the main reasons for accidents on the road. People often overestimate how long they can drive for or try to drive long past their capability to get somewhere faster. Ultimately, this is a poor logic and a bad risk to take as any lawyer after a wreck can tell you.
Planning is the best option, so here are a few things to think about before you set off.
Complete Some Simple Car Checks
If you are planning a long journey, you should complete a few checks on your car before you set off to save on any hassle on the road. Top up your screen wash, water and oil if you need to and check your tire treads too. This is especially important in the hot summer months and freezing winter months where you need plenty of grip on the road.
You should also check that your heater and air conditioning are both working. Again, this is most important in the more extreme seasons but is useful at any time of the year to keep you at a comfortable temperature.
Know Which Route to Take
When you are travelling a long way, you need to know where you are going and which route you are planning to take. This much is obvious. But you should also have an option or two in reserve should you encounter problems along the way. While satellite navigation have radically changed the way we drive, having a rough idea of where you are when there is no signal is always a better option!
When you are planning which route to take, you might also like to think about the best places to take breaks or stay over if you need to. Sometimes a slightly longer route is preferable for a cute little motel you know of than a shorter route where there isn’t a great place to stay. If you are road tripping, you will naturally want to hit some highlights, but don’t rush to get there – find smaller places to stop along the way too.
Take Breaks and Rest Stops
While we’re on the subject, you should always factor in rest stops and breaks along the way. Truck drivers may only take a break every 5 and a half hours, but you should certainly aim for a few more than that – you aren’t a professional driver for one thing.
Instead, try to stop for a few minutes every couple of hours to have a drink and use the restroom. You should also take a longer break to have some food and relax. Though you might feel fine, these breaks will help you to concentrate for longer over the day and ultimately will make you a safer driver