If you’re planning to take a long distance drive, you need to prepare everything in advance. And planning doesn’t just involve packing your clothes and making sure that you have enough money for the trip.
As a driver, you should take special precautions so you and the people with you can avoid the dangers of being in a vehicle for hours. The struggle of controlling a car for a long period of time can be stressful and tiring, which in the end may result in an accident.
Here are key tips on how to stay safe when driving your car long distances.
Check over your vehicle several days before your trip
You should ensure that your vehicle is regularly checked, as your car is where you’ll be staying for hours for the next few days. Make sure to check your:
All of your tires, including your spare tires, should be in excellent condition. Be sure that their air pressures are right. Their surfaces shouldn’t have:
- Flat spots
2. Fluid levels
You should make sure that all of your vehicle’s fluid levels are right. Be sure to bring spare supplies of them, in case that you run out while on the road. Make sure to check your following fluids:
- Brake fluid
- Power steering
- Automatic transmission
Be sure to check your vehicle’s lights, to ensure that they’re functioning well. Check the following lights:
- Dipped beam
- Main beam
- Fog lights
- DRLs (daytime running lights)
- Driving lights
- Brake lights
- Reversing lights
- Number plate light
- Side repeaters
4. Windshield wipers
Be sure to check your windshield wipers, to stay safe even during wet weather.
If your battery breaks, you may end up stranded. This is why you should check it as much as possible, as the heat of summer or cold of winter can take a significant toll on it. Your battery must:
- Receive and retain charge
- Quickly recharges and can return to service immediately
- Have at least 12.4v reading
- Is not over four years old
6. Fan belt
Your drive belts can stretch after a little use, and the continuous stretching can cause them to crack and deteriorate. This is why you should check the belts’ general condition and tension. You should do the following:
- Check the belt tension
- Adjust the drive belt
- Adjust your split-pulley belt
- Replace your drive belt
7. Coolant hoses
Make sure that your hoses are in excellent condition and the coolant doesn’t leak out of them.
8. Tow bar and connections
Make sure that your tow bar is not rusty and the connections are okay, so they won’t break if you get towed while on the road.
Make sure that your tank is full before you leave, and be sure that you check your gas meter now and then.
Make sure to rest well
Driving while you’re tired is as dangerous as driving while you’re under the influence of alcohol and drugs. When you’re sleepy, you react slower, and you most likely end up falling asleep while driving. Be sure to:
1. Get at least eight hours of sleep
Be sure that you sleep eight hours before you go on your trip, and if the trip takes days, be sure to sleep eight hours each night.
2. Take a break at random stops along your way.
Take time to take naps every once in a while, preferably every four hours after driving straight.
3. Avoid driving during night time.
It might be tempting to drive at night since there’s less traffic. But you should avoid doing this, especially if you’ve been driving all day.
4. Split driving with the people with you during the trip
If you’re not alone, and there’s someone else who’s also capable of driving, be sure to take turns driving with that person. This is especially if you’ve drunk alcohol, as it can be a pain to be involved in a drunk driving accident. Should this happen to you, do consult lawyers such as ones here.
Stock up on snacks and drinks.
If you’re going to go on a long distance drive, food stops won’t always be accessible. This is why it’s helpful if you bring water and snacks. Just be sure to avoid eating or drinking while you’re driving.
You can bring the following food items:
Cheesy kale chip popcorn
This snack can help you curb your cravings and retain your sharpness without getting bloated.
2. Parmesan baked fava bean chips
This snack is savory and crunchy, which can give an energy protein boost.
Sit up straight.
Posture can help you feel better or worse; this is why you should make sure that you’re sitting the right way. You can sit right by:
1. Tilting your seat
Be sure that your seat is adjusted according to your body and tilted at an angle that would allow you maximum blood flow.
2. Take time to check your body.
Be sure that you check your body every once in a while. Take time to breathe and scan if your body has tension.
Get legal help
If you get involved in a vehicular accident while you’re driving, be sure to talk to a accident lawyer immediately. He/she can help you take legal steps, especially if you’re in a different state.
Driving can be very tiring, but it can also be exciting, spending time with friends and family for hours while looking at spectacular places. Follow the tips we have given you, and you’ll be able to enjoy a trip worth remembering for years without fearing for your life.